* Profit surges to 74 cents a share * Molybdenum sales rise to $325.9 million * Sees 2008 output of 25 million-26 million pounds (In U.S. dollars, unless noted)
TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Thompson Creek Metals TCM.TO said on Thursday its third-quarter profit more than quadrupled from the year before on stronger molybdenum sales.
However, the Toronto-based company said it would postpone development of its Davidson project in northern British Columbia until economic conditions improve.
Thompson Creek, the world's No. 5 producer of the steel-hardening agent, earned $100.6 million, or 74 cents a share, in the three-months ended Sept 30. That was up from $24 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier.
Molybdenum sales jumped to $325.9 million from $195.9 million as the company mined higher grades.
Realized molybdenum prices were $32.85 a pound during the quarter, but will be much lower in the fourth quarter, the company warned. Spot prices were at $21 on Thursday.
Thompson Creek, which produces from its Thompson Creek mine in Idaho and its Endako mine in British Columbia, also raised its production guidance for 2008.
It now sees output of between 25 million and 26 million pounds, up from its previous estimates of 23 million to 24.5 million pounds. In 2009, production is expected at 31.5 million to 34 million pounds.
Thompson Creek's shares, which are down more than 65 percent this year, fell 88 Canadian cents, or 14.3 percent, to C$5.28 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday, touching a two-year low.
$1=$1.20 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson