* Silicon metal product sales jump 88 pct
* Expects to benefit from rising demand, prices
* Continues to refine solar grade silicon production
OTTAWA, May 12 (Reuters) - Shares of Timminco Ltd TIM.TO shot as much as 16 percent higher on Wednesday after the company said that strong demand for its silicon metal products gave a lift to its financial results.
Timminco said on Tuesday its quarterly loss narrowed considerably as demand from chemical and aluminum industry customers contributed to an 88 percent increase in silicon metal product sales.
Shares of the Toronto-based company rose as much as 10 Canadian cents to 74 Canadian cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday before edging down to 70 Canadian cents.
The stock was trading at C$35.69 in May 2008 on high investor hopes for the company’s own process of purifying silicon metal into solar-grade silicon used to make solar power cells.
For the quarter ended March 31, Timminco said it lost C$10.9 million ($10.7 million), or 7 Canadian cents a share, versus a year-earlier loss of C$22.3 million, or 20 Canadian cents.
Revenue fell to C$30.8 million from C$37.7 million, but the year-earlier figures include C$14 million in sales from a magnesium group that was sold in July 2009.
The company, whose silicon metal production facility is operating at full capacity, said is well positioned to benefit from rising demand and prices.
Chief Financial Officer Robert Dietrich told Reuters in March that Timminco has commitments for the majority of its silicon metal production for 2010.
In the meantime, the company said it will continue work to stabilize its finances and work on its turnaround strategy.
Slumping demand for its smaller solar-grade silicon business has hurt Timminco. It suspended production in March and said it would not resume operations until customer demand recovered.
Chief Executive Heinz Schimmelbusch said on Tuesday that the company continues work to refine that production and explore new markets. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Frank McGurty)