March 15 (Reuters) - First Quantum Minerals’ fourth quarter net earnings nearly doubled on higher prices, but the copper and gold producer slashed its copper production outlook.
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company lowered its full year copper production outlook to 300,000 tonnes from 305,000 tonnes earlier, and gold production outlook to 200,000 ounces from 210,000 ounces.
In October-December, the company posted net earnings attributable to shareholders of $455.3 million, or $5.61 a share, up from earnings of $227.2 million, or $2.91 a share, a year ago.
Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $2.64 a share, on revenue of $664.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Comparative earnings were $1.90 a share, down from $2.58, a year ago.
Net sales rose about 9 percent to $700.8 million. Copper production fell 23 percent to 75,920 tons, while gold production was down 22.5 percent at 48,564 ounces.
Average realized copper price for the quarter was $3.51 a pounds, compared with $2.73 a year ago.
Shares of the company closed at C$113.71 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu)
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