Goldcorp posts big loss on writedown, stock drops

Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:59am EST
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By Susan Taylor

TORONTO (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) posted a hefty loss on Thursday as it took a $2.3 billion impairment charge on a new mine in Argentina, the second multi-billion dollar writedown from a top gold miner in as many days.

Goldcorp, the world's biggest gold producer by market value, reported a $2.4 billion fourth-quarter net loss more than double last year's, as well as adjusted earnings that missed analysts forecasts, sending its shares down 5 percent.

The charge follows an even larger $2.8 billion writedown reported by Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's top gold producer by production. Barrick also said it will sell mines in Papua New Guinea and Australia to help cut debt by at least $3 billion by year-end.

Shares in Barrick, which reported results on Wednesday after the market closed, rose nearly 6 percent.

Goldcorp said its quarterly adjusted earnings fell to 7 cents a share from 9 cents last year, trailing the average analyst estimate of 12 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Stephen Walker said the miss reflects the timing of concentrate sales, which could boost first-quarter results.

Goldcorp said its 2015 outlook is brighter, as production climbs and spending drops.

The company repeated 2015 estimates announced in January, but cut its gold reserves by 8 percent to 49.6 million ounces. Goldcorp said some gold had been mined and exploration drilling results from its Cerro Negro mine were too late for inclusion.   Continued...