Molycorp Beats Analysts’ Estimates As Rare-Earth Demand Climbs

Molycorp Inc. (MCP), owner of the largest rare-earth deposit outside China, reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after falling prices for the metallic elements boosted demand.

Net income was $26.6 million, or 26 cents a share. Net income excluding one-time items was 41 cents, beating by 1 cent the average of six analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. A year earlier, the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based company posted a loss of 7.9 million, or 10 cents a share. Sales were 132.9 million up from $21.7 million a year earlier, Molycorp said today in a statement.

“I still think customers are willing to pay for a supply outside of China, especially one that’s pretty much guaranteed,” said Jonathan Hykawy, an analyst with Byron Capital Markets in Toronto.

The average price of lanthanum oxide, a rare-earth element used in rechargeable batteries and refining catalysts fell 15 percent from the previous quarter to 129,167 yuan ($20,515) a ton, according to data from Shanghai Steelhome. Neodymium, used in high-strength magnets and batteries, fell 31 percent to 914,917 yuan.

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