* Q4 EPS $0.07 vs loss/shr $0.18 yr ago
* Revenue $27.8 mln
* Sees production to trend up sequentially through ‘10
* Expects to benefit from favorable precious metal prices
* Shares rise 2 pct (Recasts; adds analysts’ comments, updates stock movement)
By Koustav Samanta
BANGALORE, March 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s Minefinders Corp Ltd MFL.TO posted its first-ever quarterly profit, primarily helped by commercial production at its flagship Dolores mine in Mexico, and forecast improved output and lower cash costs per ounce of gold and silver in 2010.
For 2010, the company expects production and sale of about 91,000 to 100,500 ounces of gold, and about 2.3 million to 2.6 million ounces of silver. It sees cash operating costs between $430 and $470 per gold-equivalent ounce, a decline from $550 in 2009. “We expect to benefit from economies of scale at Dolores due to increased production and we believe Minefinders will benefit from favorable precious metal pricing if current trends continue,” Chief Executive Mark Bailey said in a statement.
The company will consider potential strategic value-added acquisitions, Bailey added.
“There is some upside to the stock. We think it will be a reflection of the company showing a turnaround, such as in the fourth quarter from the third quarter, and moving ahead with positive cash flow with initiatives and potential to expand production,” Jennings Capital analyst Stuart McDougall told Reuters.
For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income of $4.3 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with a loss of $9 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier.
The company’s quarterly revenue stood at $27.8 million.
Minefinders said it sold 25,131 gold-equivalent ounces in the quarter, up from 2,982 gold-equivalent ounces last year.
Shares of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company were up 1 percent, or 9 Canadian cents, at C$10.49 Monday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)