Coming on the heels of failed merger talks with rival Newmont Mining Corp., Barrick Gold reported that its first quarter earnings were 90 percent lower than a year earlier.
The price of gold is down 12 percent from the same time last year and Barrick said its profits were also affected by lower production volume.
Barrick reported that it garnered $2.6 billion in first quarter revenue, a figure that met Street estimates but marks a 22.5 percent decline over the $3.4 billion reported as revenue for the same time in 2013. Excluding special items, net income came in at $238 million, or 20 cents per share, down from $923 million, or 92 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Including special charges, like a $113 million foreign currency loss, Barrick’s first quarter profit came in at $88 million, down from $847 million in the year-ago quarter and resulting in earnings of 8 cents per share — a whopping 90 percent decline from the 85 cents per share reported the same time in 2013.
“Barrick is a considerably different company today than it was a year ago – leaner, stronger and more financially flexible. Our first quarter all-in sustaining costs of $833/oz, $100/oz below the prior year quarter, demonstrate that our efforts to reduce costs are delivering tangible results,” Jamie Sokalsky, Barrick president and CEO, said in a statement, adding that his company is “decisively” addressing its under-performing operations as well as optimizing other aspects of its business. “It’s clear that Barrick’s optimized portfolio continues to deliver solid results, and we are pursuing a number of opportunities in Nevada to unlock further value from our high quality asset base.”
Among the opportunities Sokalsky’s referencing: at Nevada’s Turquoise Ridge, there are 6.7 million ounces of gold available, and Barrick is considering adding an extra shaft in order to reduce haulage distances and increase production by 75 percent for five to eight years, Forbes reported.
Despite this optimistic focus on future chances for business growth and cost savings, Barrick’s near-term outlook is more measured, at least with regards to its copper production. The company revised its production guidance for full-year 2014 to an expected range of 410 million to 440 million pounds of copper, down from an original forecast for full-year copper production between 470 million and 500 million pounds.