February 9, 2011 / 1:27 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 2- Grand Cache Q3 profit tops Street, backs 2011 forecast

* Q3 EPS $0.05 vs est $0.03

* Reports revenue below Street view

(Adds forecast, details, analyst estimates, share milestone)

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Canadian coal miner Grande Cache Coal Corp reported a 5 percent rise in third-quarter earnings and beat market estimates, helped by higher selling prices, and also maintained its sales forecast for 2011.

Grand Cache had cut its 2011 sales forecast to 1.5 to 1.6 million tonnes last month on lower-than-expected production from the first and second phases of its No. 8 pit and delays in commencing production from the third phase of operations in No. 8 pit.

Development of the third phase of production in the No. 8 surface pit will continue throughout the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, with production expected to commence in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, Grand Cache said in a statement.

The miner also expects timing of shipments in the fourth quarter to be impacted by possible shipping delays at Westshore Terminals in Vancouver, B.C., where a majority of the company’s shipping takes place.

The average sales price in the third quarter was $174 per tonne, up from $134 per tonne last year.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company reported a net income of $4.5 million, or 5 Canadian cents a share, compared with $4.3 million, or 4 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts, on average, had expected the company to earn 3 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$51.13, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue for the company, which holds four coal leases in the Smoky River Coalfield, fell 19 percent to C$50.6 million, as coal sales dropped to 0.29 million tonnes from 0.47 million tonnes.

Shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company, which have fallen nearly 10 percent since the company lowered its forecast in January, closed at C$10.12 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Amruta Sabnis in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier, Prem Udayabhanu)

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