January 27, 2011 / 12:32 PM / in 7 years

Methanex Q4 profit lags estimates on lower production

* Q4 EPS $0.30 vs est $0.44

* Revenue up 49 pct at $570.4 mln

* Expects to increase production this year

Jan 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s Methanex Corp MX.TO posted a quarterly profit that lagged market estimates, hurt by lower production.

However, the company, which added a production site in Egypt and restarted a plant in Alberta, said it expects to increase its production and earnings capability this year.

For the fourth quarter, the methanol producer posted net income of $27.9 million, or 30 cents a share, up from $25.7 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago.

“Methanol prices increased during the fourth quarter and this led to improved cash flow and earnings,” Chief Executive Bruce Aitken said in a statement.

Revenue for the quarter rose 49 percent to $570.4 million, while production fell 4 percent to 913,000 tons.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 44 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company’s shares closed at C$29.82 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)

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