Friday, February 11, 2011

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX): Q4 Earnings Preview 2010

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX), the world’s biggest gold producer, is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter financial results before the market open on Thursday, February 17, 2011. Analysts, on average, expect the company to report earnings of 85 cents per share on revenue of $2.74 billion. In the year ago quarter, the company reported earnings of 61 cents per share on revenue of $2.36 billion.

Barrick Gold Corporation primarily engages in the exploration, development, production, and sale of gold worldwide. It also produces copper and silver; holds interests in a platinum group metals development project and a nickel development project; and has interests in oil and gas properties.

In the preceding third quarter, the Toronto, Canada-based company's net income was $837 million or $0.84 per share compared to net loss of $5.35 billion or $6.07 per share in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted net income for the latest quarter was $829 million or$0.84 per basic share, up from $473 million or $0.54 per basic share in the prior-year quarter. Revenue surged to $2.78 billion from $2.04 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of $0.76 per share on revenue of $2.64 billion.

At its lasst earnings call in October, Barrick affirmed its original operating guidance for higher gold production and lower total cash costs in 2010, with full-year production expected to be 7.65 million-7.85 million ounces at total cash costs of about $455 per ounce, or net cash costs of $350-$360 per ounce. The company said it remains on track with its full-year copper guidance and expects to produce about 360 million pounds at total cash costs of $1.10-$1.15 per pound. Earlier, the company had projected full-year copper production of 340 million-365 million pounds at total cash costs of $1.10-$1.20 per pound.

Barrick is seeking to boost output to benefit from gold prices that have risen for 10 straight years in New York. Concern about rising inflation and currency debasement drove prices up 30 percent last year, reaching a record $1,432.50 an ounce on Dec. 7 on the Comex. 

The giant gold producer expects that its Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic will begin initial production in the fourth quarter of 2011, while its Pascua-Lama property on the border of Chile and Argentina is on track to enter production in the first quarter of 2013. The company is targeting growth in gold production to 9.0 million ounces annually within five years once both these project come onstream, it said.

Late in October, the company's board of Directors authorized a fourth-quarter dividend of US$0.12 per share, payable on December 15 to shareholders of record on November 30. The company said it has now moved from a semi-annual dividend to a quarterly dividend.

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