February 9, 2011 / 12:49 AM / in 7 years

UPDATE 3-Teck profit jumps as commodity prices soar

* Q4 Adj EPS C$0.93 vs C$0.53 a year-ago

* Q4 revenue up nearly 30 pct to C$2.81 bln (Adds details on outlook, analyst comment)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO said on Tuesday its quarterly profit rose 76 percent, as a resurgence in the global economy helped boost demand and prices for coal, copper and other commodities.

Teck also indicated it is well positioned to benefit from the recent surge in the price of copper and coal. The Canadian mining giant said it expects its results in the second half of 2011 to be stronger than those in the first half of the year.

“Overall, I‘m very happy with Teck’s results, they beat my expectations,” said Desjardins Securities analyst John Hughes, adding the company is also likely to see its profit later this year lifted by a recent surge in coking coal prices.

Vancouver-based Teck is one of the world’s top exporters of metallurgical, or coking coal -- a key raw material used in the manufacture of steel. Teck is also one of the world’s top zinc and copper producers, with mines spread across Canada, Chile, Peru and the United States.

Copper recently touched a new record of $10,160 a tonne, as a flurry of positive economic data, along with growing fears of supply constraints led fund managers to invest heavily in the metal, which is widely used in manufacturing and construction.

Recent flooding in Australia, coupled with labor-related supply disruptions in Canada, have also resulted in tightening coking coal markets, pushing prices for the commodity up by as much as $150 a tonne to near the $400 a tonne level in recent weeks. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

For a Take A Look on copper prices [ID:nLDE710263]

For stories on Australian floods [ID:nAUSSIE]

Package of graphics on copper r.reuters.com/kuv77r ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

Earlier on Tuesday, Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata XTA.L reported an 86 percent increase in its full-year profit on the back of stronger commodity prices. [ID:nLDE7170JH]

PROFITS SOAR

Excluding the impact of an after-tax charge related to debt refinancing and other one-time items, Teck’s earnings rose to C$548 million ($553 million), or 93 Canadian cents a share, up from a year-ago profit of C$312 million, or 53 Canadian cents a share.

Operating profit in the quarter rose 55 percent to C$1.20 billion, while revenue rose nearly 30 percent to C$2.81 billion, the company said.

Net income in the fourth-quarter ended Dec. 31 was C$361 million, or 61 Canadian cents a share, compared with a year-ago profit of C$411 million, or 70 Canadian cents a share.

The company said net income in the most recent quarter was primarily hurt by a C$289 million after-tax charge related to refinancing a portion of its debt.

Teck’s total debt as of Dec. 31 stood at US$4.98 billion, down from US$7.62 billion, a year earlier.

COAL OUTLOOK

Teck repeated it expects first quarter coal sales of between 5 million and 5.5 million tonnes, with 2011 output ranging between 24.5 million and 25.5 million tonnes. Last month, the company warned that first-quarter coal sales would be hurt by adverse weather and other issues. [ID:nN19209662]

The company said first-quarter coal sales will not be hurt by the recent strike at its Elkview mine in southeastern British Columbia, given high inventories at its mine sites.

However, the miner cautioned an extended strike at Elkview could hurt its full year sales forecast. No talks are currently scheduled between the union and the company. [ID:nSGE70U02M]

Teck has a 95 percent interest the Elkview mine with the remaining 5 percent split between Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp (5401.T) and South Korean steelmaker POSCO (005490.KS). Elkview has an annual production capacity of 5.6 million tonnes.

The company also noted the union labour agreement at its Fording River operation expires on April 30. The mine is Teck’s largest coal producer, with an annual output capacity of 8 million tonnes.

Teck expects its copper output in 2011 to rise 12 percent to 350,000 tonnes. Zinc output is expected to slip 4 percent to 620,000 tonnes, due to lower zinc output from its Antamina mine in Peru. ($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Rob Wilson and Andre Grenon)

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