UPDATE 3-Barrick results soothe investors despite huge charge

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:44pm EST
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* Barrick says no new mine builds now; costs too high

* Earnings before charges beat Wall Street estimates

* Revenue up 11 percent to $4.19 billion

* Shares rise 3.25 percent to C$32.75 by Thursday afternoon

By Julie Gordon

TORONTO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp posted stronger-than-expected results on Thursday and boosted confidence in its troubled South American project even as it booked a $3.8 billion charge to write down the value of an African mine.

The world's largest gold miner's shares climbed as much as 5 percent as it offered evidence that it may have turned a page after a year of struggling with rising costs, project delays and long-term production cuts as the gold price flattened.

"It's just a company that's been disappointing for several quarters in terms of expectations," Morningstar analyst Elizabeth Collins said, explaining the rise in a stock that had fallen more than 36 percent from the beginning of 2012 until Wednesday's close. "It's a reversal of the trend."

The writedown on Lumwana, the Zambian copper mine Barrick acquired in 2011, is the latest in a series of huge charges taken by miners around the world that spent heavily on boom-year takeovers that soured as metal prices stagnated and costs climbed.   Continued...