Molycorp Jumps as Loss Narrows, Rare-Earth Output Gains

Molycorp Jumps After Loss Narrows as Rare-Earth Output Increases
A Molycorp Inc. plant manager holds a handful of rocks containing rare earth elements in Mountain Pass, California. Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Molycorp Inc., the owner of the largest rare-earth deposit outside of China, jumped the most since its July 2010 initial public offering after posting a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss as volumes rose.

Molycorp climbed 31 percent to close at $7.35 in New York.

The net loss widened to 33 cents from 7 cents a year earlier, the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based company said in a statement after the close of regular trading yesterday.

Excluding inventory writedowns and other one-time items, the loss was 15 cents, the company said, narrower than the 30-cent average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales increased 73 percent to $146.4 million, exceeding the $137.3 million average of six estimates.

Molycorp sold 3,274 metric tons of rare-earth products in the quarter, up from 958 tons a year earlier. The company reiterated that its rare-earth complex at Mountain Pass, California, is scheduled to reach full-scale production in the middle of the year.

Rare earths are 17 chemically similar metallic elements used in rechargeable batteries, wind turbines and electric vehicles.