Goldcorp Earnings Exceed Estimates as Gold Prices Climb

Goldcorp Inc., the second-largest gold producer by market value, reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as gold prices increased.

Net income fell 28 percent to $405 million, or 39 cents a share, from $560 million, or 75 cents, a year earlier, the Vancouver-based company said today in a statement. Profit excluding a foreign-exchange loss and other one-time items was 66 cents a share, topping the 60-cent average of 16 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales climbed 15 percent to a record $1.52 billion, from $1.32 billion a year earlier.

Goldcorp, led by Chief Executive Officer Chuck Jeannes, today reaffirmed its forecast to raise output to about 2.6 million ounces of gold this year, from 2.51 million last year. Jeannes plans to reach 4.2 million ounces of annual production in 2016.

Goldcorp’s fourth-quarter gold production fell 0.2 percent to 687,900 ounces from 689,600 ounces a year earlier, while total cash costs, which take into account revenue from other metals, climbed 59 percent to $261 an ounce.

“They’re a very low-cost producer,” David West, a Vancouver-based analyst at Salman Partners Inc., said yesterday in a telephone interview. “They are definitely lower quartile as far as operating costs are concerned.”

Gold prices climbed 10 percent in 2011 in New York, an 11th consecutive annual gain, as investors sought to diversify from equities and some currencies.

Goldcorp released its earnings after the close of regular trading in New York, where the shares rose 1.8 percent to $46.10 at 6:02 p.m.

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest gold miner, is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings before markets open tomorrow.

(Goldcorp scheduled a conference call for tomorrow at 1 p.m. New York time. Domestic callers dial +1-416-695-6617, international callers +1-800-355-4959.)

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