There have been strong portfolio flows into listed uranium stocks over the past month or so, such that the latest update from Denison Mines has deeply disappointed investors. The stock price has declined up to 30% this week; the stock price at C$0.99 a share is now 89% off its highs.Upon raising C$47m in January this year, Denison forecast production of 2m to 2.4m pounds of uranium oxide this year; the latest guidance is 1.2 to 1.3m pounds for the year. Denison is continuing to shut in mines, most recently two of its five mines on the Colorado Plateau.Denison Mines describes itself as a diversified, growth-oriented, intermediate uranium producer. With seven active uranium mines in North America (six in the US and one in Canada), Denison estimates North American production at 3.6 to 6.0m pounds of U3O8 by 2011.This year Denison has been unable to sell uranium oxide at 95% of the term uranium price, as explicitly predicted by management in January, as US utilities have little uncovered demand in 2009-10. Worse still, Denison's capabilities as a reliable supplier are diminishing.Denison looks increasingly likely to breach its debt covenants, viz, net debt to 3.5 times EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation). On December 31 2008, Denison held cash of $3.2m and portfolio investments worth $10.7m. The company had by then drawn down $100m of a $125m revolving credit facility. Operating costs are $30-40/lb; uranium oxide sales at spot prices around $42.5/lb vs the term price of $70/lb will provide negligible cash flow.The company stated in its fourth quarter 2008 update that it has begun the process of selling certain assets, or looking for a strategic partner for the company. As well, the company is looking at the possibility of other debt and equity financings, if possible. As such, there is very little financial visibility for the company going forward.At least one lesson from Denison is that even established midline producers have a tough time in the presence of the world's biggest established producers: Cameco, Rio Tinto (including ERA), Areva, KazAtomProm, TVEL, BHP Billiton, Navoi, and Uranium One, and also rising producers such as Paladin.

Selected uranium stocks

Producers

Stock

From

From

Value

price

high*

low*

USD bn

Cameco

CAD 21.80

-50.9%

52.1%

6.917

ERA

AUD 19.40

-22.2%

107.5%

2.551

Paladin

AUD 3.34

-50.3%

104.9%

1.436

Uranium One

CAD 2.73

-47.3%

355.0%

1.037

Denison

CAD 0.99

-89.1%

43.5%

0.181

Producer averages/total

-43.3%

110.5%

12.122

Weighted averages

-49.2%

77.4%

Developers & other

First Uranium

CAD 5.61

-29.9%

450.0%

0.777

UEX

CAD 0.83

-83.7%

84.4%

0.123

Uranium Part.

CAD 6.52

-37.9%

44.9%

0.381

Summit Resources

AUD 1.90

-36.2%

42.9%

0.276

Mega Uranium

CAD 1.60

-41.2%

310.3%

0.242

Alliance Resources

AUD 0.48

-71.6%

66.7%

0.090

Bannerman

AUD 0.70

-73.0%

211.1%

0.076

Forsys

CAD 4.69

-38.6%

134.5%

0.294

Aurora Energy

CAD 2.38

-64.0%

186.7%

0.141

Laramide

CAD 1.83

-57.0%

221.1%

0.100

Mantra Resources

AUD 1.75

-56.3%

212.5%

0.097

Energy Metals

AUD 0.42

-72.9%

35.5%

0.034

Deep Yellow

AUD 0.12

-68.4%

22.4%

0.093

Extract Resources

AUD 3.17

-6.8%

322.7%

0.475

Strateco Resources

CAD 1.08

-52.2%

170.0%

0.104

Strathmore Minerals

CAD 0.35

-81.3%

118.8%

0.021

UR-Energy

CAD 0.62

-74.4%

82.4%

0.047

Thor Mining

AUD 0.02

-90.0%

38.5%

0.002

Uranium Resources

USD 0.55

-92.8%

52.8%

0.031

Uranerz

CAD 0.77

-78.3%

51.0%

0.035

Hathor Exploration

CAD 2.27

-48.4%

120.4%

0.158

West Australian Metals

AUD 0.06

-82.0%

21.6%

0.014

Marathon Resources

AUD 0.37

-81.7%

90.7%

0.019

Nufcor Uranium

GBP 1.42

-48.4%

90.0%

0.085

Kalahari Minerals

GBP 0.85

-2.9%

230.1%

0.220

Eso Uranium

CAD 0.04

-86.5%

75.0%

0.002

Uranium Energy

USD 0.60

-82.4%

274.1%

0.028

West Aust. Metals

AUD 0.06

-82.0%

21.6%

0.014

Tournigan

CAD 0.21

-80.5%

51.9%

0.020

Scimitar Resources

AUD 0.18

-57.1%

80.0%

0.006

Vital Metals

AUD 0.04

-95.1%

0.0%

0.003

Southern Uranium

AUD 0.06

-61.8%

103.2%

0.005

Uranium Equities

AUD 0.08

-74.1%

50.0%

0.010

Black Range Minerals

AUD 0.04

-59.2%

263.6%

0.017

Berkeley Resources

GBP 0.25

-47.9%

163.2%

0.037

Xemplar Energy

CAD 0.29

-87.4%

141.7%

0.028

JNR Resources

CAD 0.26

-79.6%

64.5%

0.018

Crosshair Exploration

CAD 0.16

-85.4%

82.4%

0.012

A-CAP Resources

AUD 0.16

-81.8%

100.0%

0.012

Fission Energy

CAD 0.23

-86.3%

164.7%

0.008

Curnamona Energy

AUD 0.28

-68.9%

107.4%

0.013

Coronation Minerals

CAD 0.06

-84.9%

120.0%

0.005

Khan Resources

CAD 0.49

-66.1%

234.5%

0.021

Bayswater Uranium

CAD 0.09

-81.4%

80.0%

0.011

Energy Fuels

CAD 0.23

-85.8%

104.5%

0.012

Azimut Exploration

CAD 0.45

-87.9%

134.2%

0.006

Desert Energy

AUD 0.06

-82.1%

20.0%

0.003

Pancontinental Uranium

CAD 0.05

-90.0%

0.0%

0.002

Pepinnini Minerals

AUD 0.17

-83.5%

22.2%

0.008

Nuinsco Resources

CAD 0.05

-86.8%

200.0%

0.007

West Prospector

CAD 0.38

-71.6%

280.0%

0.017

Pitchstone Exploration

CAD 0.20

-87.7%

48.1%

0.005

Canalaska Uranium

CAD 0.12

-65.7%

166.7%

0.013

Uranium Power

CAD 0.12

-78.2%

71.4%

0.010

Bitterroot Resources

CAD 0.11

-89.8%

22.2%

0.006

Encounter Resources

AUD 0.07

-82.5%

40.0%

0.003

Calypso Uranium

CAD 0.10

-73.7%

185.7%

0.004

Magnum Uranium

CAD 0.12

-83.3%

64.3%

0.003

Atomic Resources

AUD 0.13

-59.7%

76.1%

0.005

Titan Uranium

CAD 0.31

-61.3%

181.8%

0.013

Uranex

AUD 0.18

-69.0%

63.6%

0.010

Red Hill Energy

CAD 0.49

-49.5%

145.0%

0.019

Pele Mountain

CAD 0.14

-65.4%

125.0%

0.010

Crossland Uranium

AUD 0.05

-78.6%

12.5%

0.004

Monaro Mining

AUD 0.09

-85.7%

38.5%

0.006

Epsilon Energy

AUD 0.05

-94.3%

25.0%

0.002

Eromanga Uranium

AUD 0.03

-87.2%

0.0%

0.002

African Energy

AUD 0.02

-93.4%

110.0%

0.002

Fusion Resources

AUD 0.55

-32.9%

161.9%

0.019

NWT Uranium

CAD 0.07

-82.7%

225.0%

0.007

Cash Minerals

CAD 0.06

-83.3%

175.0%

0.005

Apollo Minerals

AUD 0.18

-64.0%

44.0%

0.012

Forum Uranium

CAD 0.07

-87.5%

180.0%

0.005

Wealth Minerals

CAD 0.23

-83.8%

130.0%

0.006

Santoy Resources

CAD 0.14

-64.9%

200.0%

0.011

Uracan Resources

CAD 0.20

-66.7%

66.7%

0.015

Niger Uranium

GBP 0.17

-31.3%

340.0%

0.027

Unor

CAD 0.05

-80.0%

80.0%

0.005

Purepoint Uranium

CAD 0.08

-77.1%

128.6%

0.005

Nortec Ventures

CAD 0.08

-77.1%

14.3%

0.005

Int'l Enexco

CAD 0.30

-76.0%

50.0%

0.005

U3O8 Corp.

CAD 0.26

-74.0%

50.0%

0.005

Silver Spruce

CAD 0.11

-77.6%

120.0%

0.004

Triex Minerals

CAD 0.17

-91.0%

3.0%

0.003

Rum Jungle Uranium

AUD 0.05

-77.5%

25.0%

0.004

Solex Resources

CAD 0.09

-75.7%

240.0%

0.004

Uravan Minerals

CAD 0.12

-86.7%

9.1%

0.003

Universal Uranium

CAD 0.03

-93.6%

50.0%

0.001

Oklo Uranium

AUD 0.04

-73.1%

40.0%

0.002

Hawk Uranium

CAD 0.04

-87.5%

75.0%

0.001

Macusani Yellowcake

CAD 0.25

-50.0%

150.0%

0.007

Great Australian

AUD 0.03

-85.3%

25.0%

0.002

Contl. Precious Minerals

CAD 0.45

-68.3%

100.0%

0.017

Blue Sky Uranium

CAD 0.10

-79.3%

216.7%

0.003

Aura Energy

AUD 0.10

-69.7%

0.0%

0.003

Empire Resources

AUD 0.04

-82.2%

100.0%

0.002

Northern Continental

CAD 0.08

-75.0%

33.3%

0.004

Int'l Montoro

CAD 0.04

-80.0%

60.0%

0.001

North Atlantic Resources

CAD 0.12

-77.0%

475.0%

0.002

Alberta Star

CAD 0.13

-71.1%

44.4%

0.036

East Asia Minerals

CAD 0.55

-70.3%

358.3%

0.019

Black Range Minerals

AUD 0.04

-59.2%

263.6%

0.026

Fronteer

CAD 2.99

-51.9%

92.9%

0.002

Portal Resources

CAD 0.05

-81.8%

100.0%

0.004

Eso Uranium

CAD 0.04

-86.5%

75.0%

0.001

Bearclaw Capital

CAD 0.03

-90.6%

20.0%

0.001

Forte Energy

AUD 0.06

-65.5%

50.0%

0.017

Western metals

AUD 0.04

-67.5%

85.7%

0.017

Mindax

AUD 0.40

-21.6%

105.1%

0.036

North American Gem

CAD 0.07

-89.2%

40.0%

0.006

Developer averages/total

-71.0%

112.9%

4.732

Weighted averages

-59.0%

140.7%

Overall averages/total

-69.5%

112.8%

16.854

Overall weighted averages

-52.4%

91.6%

Diversifieds with uranium

Areva

EUR 314.00

-61.7%

3.5%

15.097

Rio Tinto

GBP 19.96

-72.2%

100.6%

41.613

BHP Billiton

GBP 14.38

-34.8%

96.6%

120.337

AngloGold Ashanti

USD 37.26

-4.8%

178.7%

13.179

Equinox

CAD 1.79

-66.3%

135.5%

0.864

* 12-month

 

Source: market data; table compiled by Barry Sergeant