Goldcorp profit jumps on higher prices, production

Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:08pm EST
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Goldcorp reported better than expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, as profits surged due to higher gold and silver prices and increased bullion production, sending its shares up more than 2 percent in after-hours trade.

Vancouver-based Goldcorp, the world's second largest gold miner by market capitalization, also raised its full year dividend payout by 11 percent to 40 cents a share and outlined plans to develop two major gold projects in Canada.

Goldcorp said net income in the quarter ended December 31 rose to $331.8 million, or 44 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $66.7 million, or 9 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, earnings rose to $417.1 million, or 57 cents a share, from $182.7 million, or 25 cents a share.

Analysts on average had forecast earnings of 47 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly revenue rose 70 percent to $1.32 billion.

Gold sales in the fourth quarter were 678,600 ounces on production of 689,600 ounces. This compares with sales of 573,100 ounces on production of 601,300 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The company said a strong performance at its Red Lake mine in northern Ontario and the first full quarter of commercial production at its Penasquito gold-silver mine in Mexico, helped drive production growth in the quarter.   Continued...