UPDATE 1-Cameco posts surprise Q1 adjusted loss as uranium prices drop

Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:54am EDT
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(Adds background, outlook)

April 29 (Reuters) - Canada's uranium producer Cameco Corp reported an unexpected first-quarter adjusted loss as uranium prices continued to soften and demand remained low, forcing the company to lower its uranium production forecast for the year.

The company reported a loss of 2 Canadian cents per share, after adjustments, compared with a year-ago profit of 18 Canadian cents per share.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 16 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cameco's uranium sales fell 16 percent to 5.9 million pounds in the quarter. Its average realized price per pound fell 3 percent.

The profit attributable to equity holders was C$78 million ($62 million), or 20 Canadian cents per share, compared with a loss of C$9 million, or 2 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said on April 21 that it would suspend production at its Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan operation, and reduce production in the United States and at McArthur River, Saskatchewan, the world's biggest uranium mine.

Cameco on Friday cut its 2016 uranium production forecast to 25.7 million pounds from 30 million pounds. Production was 28.4 million pounds in 2015.

The company also said it expects 2016 revenue to fall 5 percent to 10 percent, compared with its earlier forecast of 5 percent decline.

Cameco's U.S.-listed shares were down 4.6 percent in premarket trading on Friday. They closed at $13.11 on Thursday. ($1 = C$1.25) (Reporting by Kanika Sikka in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)