February 23, 2012 / 1:37 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 2-Coeur d'Alene net boosted by gold, silver prices

* Q4 EPS 13 cents vs loss 6 cents a year earlier

* Q4 adj EPS 50 cents

* Sales $246.9 mln vs $207.6 mln

* Stock slightly higher

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp posted a fourth-quarter profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, as soaring gold and silver prices and increased production from mines in Bolivia and Mexico more than offset higher mining costs.

The company said costs are expected to climb this year, while silver production may rise and gold output will be steady. Production at its Alaska gold mine has been curtailed for the first half of this year to carry out operational modifications.

“We are focused on resuming full production at Kensington in Alaska in the second half of the year and operating more efficiently and effectively,” President and Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Krebs said in a statement on Thursday.

He said Coeur’s exploration program is expected to uncover new deposits around its existing operations, particularly at Palmarejo in Mexico.

At Rochester in Nevada, Coeur invested $27 million to construct a new leach pad, which will add seven more years of mine life, Krebs said.

The company, based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said fourth-quarter net income was $11.4 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with a loss of $5.1 million, or 6 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2010.

Adjusted for one-time items, profit was 50 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $246.9 million from $207.6 million.

Silver output was 5.3 million ounces in the quarter, driven by production ramping up at Palmarejo and San Bartolome in Bolivia.

Coeur said its average silver selling price in 2011 was $35.15 per ounce, up 67 percent from 2010. It sold gold at an average of $1,588 per ounce, 26 percent higher than in 2010.

The company produced 19.1 million ounces of silver in 2011, a 14 percent increase over 2010, at cash operating costs of $6.31 per ounce.

Gold production last year was 220,382 ounces, a 40 percent increase over 2010. Cash operating costs rose 10 percent to $1,088 per ounce.

For 2012, Coeur said it expects silver production of 18.5 million to 20.0 million ounces, and gold production of 210,000 to 230,000 ounces.

Estimated cash operating costs for silver are expected to rise to between $6.50 and $7.50 per ounce, it said.

Coeur’s stock was up 15 cents to $29.29 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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