May 5, 2011 / 12:15 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 3-Goldcorp profit surges on high gold prices

* Revenues up 69 percent at $1.2 billion

By Julie Gordon

(Adds CEO comments; In U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO, May 4 (Reuters) - Goldcorp (G.TO) reported a higher first-quarter profit on Wednesday, as record realized gold prices and the gold miner’s strong production boosted revenue by 69 percent.

Net earnings from continuing operations rose to $651 million, or 82 cents a share, from $232 million, or 32 cents, in the first quarter of 2010.

Excluding one-time items, net earnings from continuing operations for Canada’s No.2 gold producer more than doubled to $397 million, or 50 cents a share, from $159 million, or 22 cents.

On that basis, analysts had expected earnings of 47 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly revenue rose to $1.2 billion from $718 million in the same period in 2010, while operating cash flows more than doubled to $586 million.

“Primarily we’re reinvesting those cash flows into the new projects,” said Goldcorp Chief Executive Chuck Jeannes in an interview with Reuters after the results.

“We’re building five new mines over the next five years,” he said. “That’s at a capital spend of $1.8 billion this year and significant amounts going forward.”

Goldcorp, which plans to expand production by 60 percent to 4 million ounces in 2015, stood by its production outlook for the year, with output expected to be in a range of 2.65 million to 2.75 million ounces.

Gold production in the quarter climbed to 637,600 ounces, up 17 percent over the same period a year earlier, while gold sales were 627,300 ounces.

The average realized gold price for the quarter rose 26 percent to $1,694 an ounce. Gold margins were $1,206 per ounce, which the company said were the strongest in the industry.

Cash costs, including a by-product credit, were $188 an ounce in the first quarter and Jeannes said full-year guidance may be revised down from a current $280-$320 an ounce.

“Based on the kind of cost performance we’re seeing, and the by-product prices we’re seeing, we would expect that to come down,” he said. “But we’ll wait till next quarter.”

The Vancouver-based company, which sold its 10.1 percent stake in Osisko Mining (OSK.TO) in February, said gold and silver accounted for 86 percent of first-quarter revenue.

Goldcorp produces gold, silver and copper, along with other base metals, from mines across the Americas.

    Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by Frank McGurty, Phil Berlowitz

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