Centerra shares drop 2 pct after output target lowered

Thu Nov 8, 2012 11:58am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Shares of Centerra Gold Inc CG.TO fell more than 2 percent on Thursday, a day after the Canadian gold miner reported a quarterly loss and again lowered its full year output target.

Centerra now expects to produce some 415,000 to 425,000 ounces of gold in 2012, down from a previous estimate of 450,000 to 470,000 ounces.

Earlier this year, Toronto-based Centerra was forced to substantially cut its 2012 production outlook, as output at its Kumtor mine in Kyrgyzstan was hit by ice movement in the pit. Kumtor is Centerra's largest gold mine.

Centerra, which has developed a new mine plan for the high-altitude mine, increased its proven and probable reserves in the central open pit by 58 percent to 9.7 million ounces, extending Kumtor's mine life by five years.

The company now expects to produce some 600,000 ounces at Kumtor in 2013 and 660,000 ounces in 2014.

Late on Wednesday, Centerra reported a net loss of $46.8 million, or 20 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept 30, compared with earnings of $83.7 million, or 35 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding an abnormal mining charge related to ice removal and other one-time items, the loss was 10 cents a share. On that basis, analysts' average forecast was a loss of 21 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue slumped 75 percent to $68.8 million as production declined 72 percent to 42,723 ounces.

Lower grades, lower recoveries and reduced operations were all factors in the production decline. Centerra also reported far higher cash costs - $1,401 per ounce in the quarter compared with $556 a year earlier.

The average realized gold price in the quarter fell slightly to $1,667 from $1,705 in the year-ago quarter.

Centerra's stock was down 25 Canadian cents at C$10.56 on Thursday at midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by John Wallace and David Gregorio)