February 23, 2011 / 12:51 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Sherritt profit lifted by commodity prices

* Q4 EPS C$0.27 vs yr-ago profit of C$0.16

* Q4 adjusted EPS of C$0.25 tops expectations (Adds details on results, analyst estimates)

TORONTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Diversified miner Sherritt International (S.TO) reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday, citing higher nickel and coal prices.

Net income in the fourth quarter rose to C$81 million, or 27 Canadian cents a share, from C$48.3 million, or 16 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the profit was 25 Canadian cents a share. Analysts on average had forecast 23 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 34 percent to C$508 million, driven by increased sales volumes as well as higher commodity selling prices.

Toronto-based Sherritt is developing the Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar in partnership with Japan’s Sumitomo Corp (8053.T), Korea Resources [KOREC.UL] and SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO).

Sherritt said it had C$1.4 billion in available liquidity as of Dec. 31, with total debt of C$3.3 billion.

The company, which owns assets spread across Canada, Cuba, Pakistan and other countries, is involved in nickel, cobalt, coal, oil and gas production. It also owns interests in power generation facilities.

Sherritt said it expected nickel and cobalt output in 2011 to remain roughly flat with 2010 levels, while coal production should rise about 11 percent to 41 million tonnes. ($1= 0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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