February 10, 2014 / 3:18 PM / 3 years ago

Shares of uranium miner Cameco tumble after earnings miss

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Feb 10 (Reuters) - Shares of Cameco Corp dove 6 percent in early trading on Monday after the Canadian uranium miner reported weaker than expected fourth-quarter results late Friday.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company reported an increase in fourth-quarter profit after normal trading hours on Friday, but it fell short of Street expectations.

The world's third-biggest uranium producer also scrapped its lofty production target for the radioactive metal due to excess global supply in an uncertain market.

The miss was primarily due to higher-than-expected operating costs and depreciation, but 2014 guidance looked better than expected, said BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck in a note to clients.

Uranium prices have been weak since an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, crippling the Fukushima-Daiichi atomic power plant and leading it to shut down nearly all of its reactors.

Cameco shares were down 5.9 percent in Toronto and New York to C$22.04 and $19.95 respectively. The stock reached a nearly two-year high in late January after Japan's trade ministry said on Jan. 15 that it would approve a revival plan for the utility responsible for the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Tokyo Electric Power Co. ($1=$1.11 Canadian) (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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