August 10, 2009 / 1:00 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Northgate profit misses view, shares fall

* Q2 EPS $0.02 vs $0.01 yr-earlier; analysts’ view $0.05

* Lowers 2009 gold output forecast, raises cost estimate

* Shares down 6.7 pct in early trade (Recasts, adds dateline, details on results. In U.S. dollars unless noted)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Canadian gold miner Northgate Minerals Corp NGX.TO reported a higher quarterly net profit on Monday, but it still fell short of expectations as a lower copper price cut revenue and increased its gold mining costs.

Shares of the company fell 6.7 percent in early trade, after it also lowered its 2009 gold production forecast and raised its estimate cash costs per ounce of gold.

The lower production forecast is due to a change in the mine plan at its Stawell mine in Australia, which was a result of geotechnical issues that have now been resolved. The company expects a stronger Canadian and Australian dollar to increase cash costs for the year.

However, Chief Executive Ken Stowe remains optimistic and sees further exploration success at its Stawell project, as well as at its Fosterville project in Australia and at Young-Davidson in Canada in the second half of 2009.

“We are well positioned to finance the development of the Young-Davidson mine and are actively evaluating acquisitions that will add to our near-term production profile,” said Stowe, in a statement.

The gold and copper producer said revenues were lower in the current quarter, due to a drop in realized copper prices to $2.65 per pound from $4.10, and a 6 percent drop in copper sales, which were partially offset by a 12 percent increase in gold production.

The company uses revenues generated from the sale of copper to offset its gold mining production costs.

For the second quarter, the company reported net earnings of $5.4 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with $1.8 million, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company posted earnings of 2 cents a share, down from a year-earlier profit of 3 cents a share and below the average analysts’ forecast of 5 cents a share.

Revenue fell 6.2 percent to $130.3 million.

The company said it produced 93,377 ounces of gold and 13.8 million pounds of copper in the quarter, which is in line with its previous forecast.

Gold sales totaled 100,572 ounces at a realized price of $924 per ounce and copper sales totaled 14.9 million pounds at a realized price of $2.65 per pound, the company said in a statement.

Northgate now expects 2009 gold production of 382,500 ounces of gold at a net cash cost of $440 an ounce, compared with a previous forecast of 390,600 ounces at a net cash cost of $423 per ounce.

At June 30, Northgate had working capital of $83.6 million, compared with working capital of $21.9 million at Dec. 31, 2008.

Shares of the company fell 18 Canadian cents to C$2.52 in early trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.09 Canadian Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Sakshi A Mattoo in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Galloway

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