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3 uranium stocks to buy as the metal hits 16-year high

Uranium image on uranium stocks article; learn more about how to invest

The rally in the spot price of uranium that began in 2023 is heating up in the first month of 2024. On January 15, the spot price of uranium broke the $103 level, a 16-year high. For uranium miners, having the price of uranium over $100 makes mining operations profitable. 

The primary reason for the interest in uranium is that it's essential for creating nuclear energy, which is the cleanest form. In addition to being used to power nuclear power plants, enriched uranium can go into naval ships and submarines and used as a counterweight for aircraft control surfaces and radiation shielding. 

That explains the demand side of the equation. For the supply side, investors need to consider Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine. It pressures uranium customers to look outside Russia for their uranium needs. 

It's not too late to take a long position in Basic Materials stocks, specifically uranium stocks. Here are three names to consider. 

Uranium Energy Corp. 

Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSEAMERICAN: UEC) is one of the top picks for investors. As mentioned above, a uranium price of over $100 per pound is bullish for mining operations. To that end, Uranium Energy announced that it would restart uranium production at its fully permitted Christensen Ranch operations in Wyoming. The company expects production to begin in August. Existing cash on the company's balance sheet will fund production.

However, at first glance, investors may wince at buying a stock up 105% in the last 12 months. But the anticipated rise in the spot price of uranium is likely to be a tide that lifts the entire sector. 

Analysts agree. Several analysts have increased their price target on UEC stock in the last 30 days. The Uranium Energy analyst ratings on MarketBeat give the stock a price target of $8.80, a 14% increase from its closing price on January 19. 

Cameco Corporation 

Cameco Corporation (NYSE: CCJ) is one of the world's leading global uranium suppliers. Part of the company's success comes from controlling ownership in low-cost mines with the highest-grade uranium. The company is also known for its environmentally friendly way of mining uranium. 

Also notable is Cameco's strategic partnership with Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. (NYSE: BAM). In November, Cameco finalized its acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company, which gives Cameco a 49% interest to Brookfield's 51%. It also sets up the company well for the growing demand for nuclear reactors. 

Like Uranium Energy, CCJ stock soared sharply in 2023 and is trading near its 52-week high. However, a recent pullback puts the stock in a buyable zone of around $46 per share. 

Sprott Uranium Miners ETF 

If you'd like to invest in uranium but don't want the risk of investing in one or two individual stocks, you can consider an exchange-traded fund (ETF). One of the top names is the Sprott Uranium Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: URNM)

The Sprott Uranium Miners ETF has $1.94 billion of assets under management (AUM), including 37 holdings in both uranium companies and physical uranium. The fund has an expense ratio of 0.85%, on par with many thematic ETFs.  

The fund's price is up 50% in the last 12 months; however, it trades near its 52-week high. Therefore, some consolidation may occur. If you want to get involved with the fund, technical indicators indicate that the URNM ETF is a good buy, with its 20-day simple moving average (SMA) at around $50.78 per share. 

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