* Newmont Q4 Adj EPS $0.26 Vs Wall St view of $0.25
* Goldcorp Q4 Adj EPS $0.12 Vs Wall St view of $0.11
* Newmont, Goldcorp shares slightly lower in midday trade (Combines Newmont, Goldcorp earnings, adds details)
By Euan Rocha
NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters) - U.S. gold miner Newmont Mining (NEM.N) and its Canadian rival Goldcorp (G.TO) both posted slightly better than expected fourth-quarter results on Thursday, as strong gold prices boosted profits and helped offset some of the decline in copper demand.
A widening recession in developed economies and sharp slowdowns in developing markets have hit the global manufacturing sector and hurt demand for base metals like zinc, nickel and copper. The price of silver also fell toward the end of 2008, as the metal has numerous industrial applications.
But gold prices have risen significantly in the last three months due to a burgeoning interest in the metal as a haven from risk.
Moreover, analysts see lower oil prices, declining raw material costs and a strong U.S. dollar benefiting gold miners through the course of 2009.
Newmont, the world’s second-largest gold miner, reported net income of $10 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $289 million, or 63 cents a share.
Excluding special items, the Denver-based company’s quarterly earnings came to 26 cents a share, slightly above Wall Street’s average forecast of 25 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
“Basically they were in line, and they may say they beat the consensus by a penny or two, but the consensus had been coming down,” said HSBC analyst Victor Flores.
Newmont’s revenue fell 4.8 percent to $1.34 billion, hurt by the slump in copper sales.
Newmont expects 2009 gold sales of 5.2 million to 5.5 million ounces, at costs applicable to gold sales of $400 to $440 per ounce.
It also forecast 2009 copper sales of 210 million to 230 million pounds, at cost applicable to sales of 65 to 75 cents a pound.
Newmont operates gold and copper producing mines in the United States, Peru, Australia, Ghana and Indonesia, among other countries.
Shares of Newmont were down 1.8 percent at $42 in midday trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Goldcorp’s fourth-quarter net income more than tripled, as the company recorded a massive noncash foreign exchange gain on the revaluation of future income tax liabilities.
Canada’s No. 2 gold producer earned $958.1 million, or $1.31 a share, up from $256.6 million, or 36 cents a share, in the year-before period.
Stripping out the gain, the company earned $85.4 million or 12 cents a share — just above the expected profit of 11 cents a share, as polled by Reuters Estimates.
Quarterly revenue fell 10 percent to $609 million, as an 11 percent increase in gold production was more than offset by lower prices for silver and copper, which the company produces as byproduct.
Canada’s Kinross Gold (K.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), which both reported quarterly results on Wednesday, also said plunging base metal prices had eroded some of their profits from gold production.
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Goldcorp has mines in Canada and throughout Latin America, and is developing the Pensaquito property in Mexico and has a share of the Pueblo Viejo joint venture in the Dominican Republic.
Shares of Goldcorp were down 1.8 percent at C$40.10 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Euan Rocha and Steve James in New York, Cameron French in Toronto, editing by Matthew Lewis)