Cameco Fourth-Quarter Profit Beats Analysts’ Estimates

(Corrects writedown figure in eighth paragraph.)

Cameco Corp., the third-largest uranium producer, posted fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, boosted by its electricity business.

Profit excluding some items was 60 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$958 million ($956 million), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco said today in a statement. Analysts had projected, on average, profit of 41 cents and C$769 million in sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales and earnings in the electricity business gained on higher generation and lower operating costs. The price Cameco got per megawatt-hour of power rose 1.9 percent to C$54.

In 2013, Cameco expects revenue to rise as much as 5 percent, or up to C$2.44 billion, as the price of uranium rebounds. Analysts estimate C$2.39 billion.

Uranium for immediate delivery has rallied 7.4 percent after touching a near 17-month low on Nov. 7, Metal Bulletin data show. That’s amid optimism Japan will reconsider the shutdown of nuclear reactors that followed the 2011 meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

“There are strong indications that additional plants will be coming back on line in Japan,” Cameco Chief Executive Officer Tim Gitzel said in the statement.

Japan’s pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party won a two- thirds majority in Japan’s lower house of parliament in a Dec. 16 election.

Cameco’s fourth-quarter net income fell 84 percent to C$45 million, or 11 cents a share, from a year ago. The company recorded a C$168 million writedown of its interest in the Kintyre project in Australia.

Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s state-owned producer, and Paris- based Areva SA are the biggest uranium miners, according to the World Nuclear Association.

(Cameco scheduled a conference call for Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. New York time and can be accessed at http://www.cameco.com.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net; Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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