Goldcorp sees rebound from weak third-quarter, stock slumps

Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:11pm EDT
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By Nicole Mordant and Susan Taylor

TORONTO (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) said on Thursday it expected "very strong" fourth-quarter production after its third-quarter earnings and output fell short of market expectations, pushing its stock down to a six-year low.

Goldcorp, the world's biggest gold company by market value, repeated that its 2014 production will come in at the low end of its forecast of 2.95 million to 3 million ounces.

"The production is delayed rather than lost. So, as has been the case for us in prior years, because we are growing production. We expect a very strong fourth-quarter finish," Goldcorp Chief Executive Officer Chuck Jeannes said on a conference call.

Part of the reason for lower third-quarter output was the planned processing of low-grade stockpiled ore at Goldcorp's Penasquito mine in Mexico, Jeannes said. But that was just a temporary blip as the company got back to higher-grade material, he added.

Goldcorp in January unveiled a rejigged mine plan for Penasquito to focus on higher-grade ore. Investors are demanding that miners focus on profits over production in the face of a gold price that has fallen by a third in three years.

While Goldcorp's total production rose to 651,700 ounces of gold in the third quarter, from 637,100 ounces a year earlier, lagging market expectations.

TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes said production missed his estimate of 761,000 ounces and that Goldcorp's 2014 forecast "looks like a stretch."

Production in 2014 will be pinched by lower-than-expected production at its El Sauzal mine in Mexico, Goldcorp said, and a second-quarter work stoppage at Los Filos, also in Mexico.   Continued...