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These 2 stocks have surged in Q1. Can they keep going?

A charging gold price has worked wonders for Acacia Mining’s (LSE: ACA) share value so far in 2017. As we reach the mid-point of quarter one, the Africa-focused mining play has gained a staggering 43% in value.

The shiny commodity has gained wings as investors fret over the political direction of President Trump’s White House, while the evolving Brexit issue — and more recently political intrigue in North Korea — has also added support. These issues have seen gold move back above $1,240 per ounce for the first time since mid-November.

Whilst Federal Reserve rate hikes could see gold values backtrack again, the range of issues supporting cautious buying are unlikely to abate any time soon, a factor that could keep gold prices moving higher, and with it Acacia Mining, moving higher.

Indeed, the list of political and economic tension could well rise as the year progresses as the new US administration beds in; fears of a debt crisis in Europe grow; and major elections on the continent take place.

The City expects earnings at Acacia Mining to leap 85% in 2017, created by predictions of a strong metal price and soaring production levels, particularly from its Buzwagi asset in Tanzania.

This results in an undemanding P/E ratio of 15.6 times, while an additional 2% advance pencilled in for next year nudges the multiple to an even-better 15.2 times. This leaves scope for extra share price strength should commodity prices keep rising.

Smoking giant storms ahead

Investor appetite for cigarette giant British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) has also lit up during the first quarter as safe-haven interest in cigarette makers has picked up again.

The stock has gained 8% during the first half of quarter one alone. And like Acacia Mining, I reckon British American Tobacco could have much, much further to run.

The share price took a punch in January after its blockbuster $49.4bn takeover of the near-60% stake British American Tobacco does not already own of Reynolds American was accepted. But the uptrend continued after investors digested the massive global opportunities the accord affords, as well as the addition of Reynolds’ knockout brands like Camel and Newport.

The formidable brand power of British American Tobacco’s own cartons like Lucky Strike and Rothmans have enabled the business to traverse the problem of falling cigarette demand, their premium prices offsetting the problem of falling volumes. And these products are also steadily chipping away at the market shares of their rivals.

And I reckon signs of British American Tobacco’s so-called Global Drive Brands making fresh headway — the company’s full-year results are slated for Thursday, February 23 — could provide the share price with an additional catalyst.

The tobacco titan’s valuations certainly leave room for additional share price strength. Expected earnings rises of 16% and 6% for 2017 and 2018 respectively result in P/E ratios of 17.4 times and 16.4 times. This is very decent value in my opinion given the stock’s exceptional defensive qualities, not to mention its rising presence in the explosive e-cigarette segment.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.