October 30, 2008 / 12:20 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Barrick Gold profit drops on impairment charge

(In U.S. dollars, unless noted)

TORONTO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO reported a 26 percent drop in third-quarter profit on Thursday, as the world’s top gold producer took $97 million in impairment charges.

Barrick earned $254 million, or 29 cents a share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That was down from $345 million, or 39 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Stripping out the impairment charge, which related to its interest in Highland Gold HGM.L and other portfolio investments, profit was 40 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Reuters Estimates had expected a profit of 49 cents a share, before items.

Quarterly revenue rose to $1.9 billion from $1.7 billion, as realized gold prices averaged $872 an ounce in the quarter, up from $681 the year before. (Reporting by John McCrank and Cameron French; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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