Newmont's profit surges on higher production, rise in bullion prices
Newmont Corp. announced its first quarter results and reported that its adjusted profit nearly doubled boosted by higher production and a surge in the prices of gold, as investors rushed to the safe-haven asset amid market turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Newmont, the world’s biggest gold miner, said average realized price for gold in the first quarter rose to $1,591 per ounce from $1,300 an ounce last year, while attributable gold production rose 20 percent to 1.5 million ounce mainly due to new output from the Goldcorp mines that it acquired last year.
Reuters reported that gold prices have risen around 12 percent this year, as investors shifted their investments to the metal after risk sentiment took a beating due to uncertainties in a coronavirus-hit global economy.
This has helped shares of gold miners to outpace broader stock indexes this year, despite shutting down production due to the virus-led lockdowns across the globe.
S&P/TSX’s Global Gold index, which tracks producers of gold and related products, including companies that mine or process gold globally, has gained about 36 percent on an average in this quarter, compared to last year.
Newmont’s stock is up about 44 percent this year as of May 5.
Net income attributable to shareholders rose more than nine fold to $822 million or $1.02 per share in the first-quarter ended March 31, compared to last year, as the company benefited from the sale of some businesses.
Excluding the one-time gains, Newmont’s adjusted profit of $326 million or $0.40 per share, rose around 85 percent from the prior year quarter but slightly missed analysts estimate of 42 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.
The company said all-in sustaining costs increased around 14 percent to $1,030 per ounce for the quarter primarily due to higher gold CAS (Gold costs applicable to sales) per ounce, higher sustaining capital spend and care and maintenance costs associated with COVID-19.
“We are responding to COVID-19 from a position of strength, taking proactive steps to prioritize the well-being of our employees and the communities in which we operate. These unprecedented times further highlight the importance of a proven operating model, talented workforce and the ability to adapt to dynamic circumstances quickly and with care for all stakeholders," said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our world-class diversified portfolio of assets and resilient team delivered solid first quarter performance with $1.1 billion in adjusted EBITDA and $611 million in free cash flow. Our robust balance sheet provides us with significant financial flexibility to continue allocating capital where it is needed most during this time of uncertainty, while maintaining our industry-leading returns to shareholders."