May 5, 2009 / 8:14 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-HudBay Minerals posts first-quarter loss

* Q1 loss C$0.03 per basic share vs EPS C$0.17

* Q1 revenue falls more than 40 pct

TORONTO, May 5 (Reuters) - HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) said on Tuesday. fell to a loss in the first quarter, as its results were hit by plunging prices for copper and zinc.

The company, which abandoned its attempt to buy Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) during the quarter and is now seen as a takeover target itself, posted a loss of C$4 million, or 3 Canadian cents per basic share, in the three months ended March 31.

That compared with a profit of C$21.6 million, or 17 Canadian cents per basic share, in the year-before period.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected, on average, a loss of 2 Canadian cents a share.

HudBay said its results were hit hard by base metal prices that plunged as the global recession dried up demand. However, prices have been on an upswing since early March.

Revenue fell more than 40 percent to C$161.8 million.

HudBay launched a friendly bid for Lundin last November, but ran into resistance from its own shareholder over concerns about Lundin’s shakier balance sheet and a massive share issue that would have been used to fund the transaction.

HudBay abandoned the bid, and chief executive Allen Palmiere and the board stepped down.

Former CEO Peter Jones is now back running the company.

Last month, HudBay said it had hired an investment bank to examine its strategic options, which could include selling the company.

Meanwhile, Indian mining giant Vedanta Resources (VED.L) has bought a 9.5 percent stake in the Canadian company, sparking speculation about a takeover and driving HudBay’s shares higher.

$1=$1.175 Canadian Reporting by Euan Rocha and Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson

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