* Adjusted EPS $0.01, misses $0.10 expectation
* Adjusted earnings hurt by higher costs, lower prices
* Shares decline nearly 6 percent on TSX
* Goldcorp maintains 2015 production, spending forecast (Adds bullet points, stock price decline, analyst comment)
By Susan Taylor
TORONTO, April 30 (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc, the world’s biggest gold producer by market value, reported weaker earnings on Thursday that fell well short of analyst expectations, as lower prices along with higher taxes and costs more than offset increased production from its mines.
Goldcorp shares fell 5.8 percent in Toronto after the results were announced, amid deep market declines for gold miners as the price of bullion dropped 2 percent on revived expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike.
“We expected the stock would be weaker on this, but ... it’s a $25 down day in gold, so the sell off has to be presented in that context,” said Phil Russo, analyst at Raymond James, of the lower-than-expected profit.
Vancouver-based Goldcorp, which maintained its 2015 outlook, said first-quarter adjusted profit fell to $12 million, or 1 cent a share, from $209 million, or 26 cents a share.
Analysts expected an adjusted profit of 10 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
On a net basis, Goldcorp lost $87 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with net earnings of $98 million, or 12 cents per share.
All-in sustaining costs to produce one ounce of gold was $885 in the quarter, up from $840 last year. This measure, adopted by producers in 2013, includes sustaining capital, exploration costs and general expenses.
Gold production rose to 724,800 ounces from 679,000 ounces, but the average realized price dropped to $1,217 per ounce from $1,297 an ounce.
Depreciation, depletion, and amortization expenses are seen at about $390 per gold ounce sold for 2015, the company said, as first-quarter expenses of $444 per ounce decline over the year.
Goldcorp said it now expects an annual effective tax rate of 45 percent in 2015 on adjusted net earnings, with a 39 percent rate in the second, third and fourth quarters. It previously estimated the rate at 35 percent, TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes wrote in a note.
Gold production is expected to increase over the year as it ramps up Cerro Negro in Argentina and Eleonore in Canada, while mining at Penasquito in Mexico moves into higher-grade areas.
As production increases, cash flow looks set to climb, particularly in the second half of the year, Russo wrote in a recent note.
First-quarter adjusted operating cash flow grew to $366 million from $281 million. (Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Alan Crosby)