July 28, 2016 / 12:35 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-Cameco posts surprise loss on weak uranium prices, shares dive

(Adds share plunge, analyst’s comment)

July 28 (Reuters) - Cameco Corp , the world’s No.2 uranium producer, reported a surprise quarterly loss due to weak uranium demand and prices, sending its shares down 7 percent to touching a nearly 12-year low of C$12.87.

The Canadian company said uranium sales volumes fell 37 percent to 4.6 million pounds in the second quarter, while its average realized price per pound fell about 8 percent.

The 2011 Fukushima meltdown led to shutdowns of all of Japan’s nuclear reactors, sending uranium prices into a five-year slump.

The loss was due to lower-than-expected uranium sales for the quarter, BMO analyst Edward Sterck wrote in a note. But sales are likely to smooth out during the rest of the year, given that Cameco did not make material guidance changes, he added.

The company reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of C$137 million ($104 million), or 35 Canadian cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30. This included an impairment charge of C$124.4 million related to the suspension of its Rabbit Lake operation in northern Saskatchewan.

Cameco had a profit of C$88 million, or 22 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Cameco posted a loss of 14 Canadian cents per share, compared with the average analyst estimate of a profit of 11 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 17.5 percent to C$466 million, well below analysts’ estimate of C$572.7 million. ($1 = C$1.32) (Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Maju Samuel and Alan Crosby)

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