October 28, 2010 / 11:43 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Barrick's profit boosted by strong gold price

* Q3 2010 adjusted EPS $0.84 Vs $0.54 a yr-ago

* Revenue rises 36 pct to $2.8 billion

* Shares up 2 percent in trade before the morning bell (Adds details on results, share price move; All figures in U.S. dollars, unless noted)

TORONTO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s top gold miner, reported a 75 percent increase in operating profit thanks to strong bullion prices, and its shares rose on the higher-than-expected results.

The Toronto-based company said it is targeting gold output of 9 million ounces within five years, as it brings on stream its Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic and its Pascua-Lama project on the border of Argentina and Chile.

Barrick said it is on track to produce 7.65 million to 7.85 million ounces of gold in 2010, at total cash costs of about $455 per ounce.

Adjusted earnings in the quarter rose to $829 million, or 84 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier adjusted profit of $473 million, or 54 cents a share.

The earnings easily topped Wall Street’s consensus view of 75 cents a share, sending Barrick’s shares up 2 percent to $46.48 in trade before the morning bell.

Net income in the quarter ending Sept. 30 was $837 million, or 84 cents a share. That compared with a year-ago loss of $5.35 billion, or $6.07 a share, when the company booked a $5.7 billion charge to eliminate its gold hedges.

Quarterly revenue rose 36 percent to $2.78 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected revenue of $2.64 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Toronto-based Barrick said gold production of 2.06 million ounces in the quarter was ahead of plan, at lower-than-expected total cash costs of $454 an ounce, due to a strong performance from its North American operations.

The company said its margins continue to improve from rising gold prices and lower cash costs, with third-quarter cash margins rising over 50 percent over year-ago levels to $783 per ounce. (Reporting by Euan Rocha and Julie Gordon; Editing by Frank Mc Gurty)

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