*Q4 profit of $0.31 shr
*Sales $154.4 million vs Wall St. view $149.11 million
*Sees 2010 silver output of 23.4 million ounces
NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s Pan American Silver PAA.TO on Monday said it posted a fourth-quarter profit, after reporting a loss in the period a year ago, citing stronger production and a big jump in silver prices.
The silver and gold miner, which operates in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, earned $27.8 million, or 31 cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
That compared with a loss of $33.3 million, or 41 cents a share, in the year-before period, when the company took restructuring charges and absorbed a currency loss.
Quarterly revenue rose 234 percent $154.4 million, as silver output surged 30 percent to 6 million ounces helped by the start up of the San Vicente mine expansion in Bolivia.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected, on average, revenue of $149.11 million.
Gold output rose 425 percent.
Pan American, which also declared its first cash dividend on Monday, said it expects 2010 silver production to total 23.4 million ounces.
Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio