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Cameco Falls as Profit Lags Estimates Amid Uranium Slowdown

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Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Cameco Corp., Canada’s largest uranium miner, fell after posting quarterly profit that lagged behind analysts’ estimates and saying it doesn’t expect a fast recovery in demand for the nuclear fuel.

Cameco declined 3.1 percent to C$20.55 at the close in Toronto. The shares earlier dropped as much as 6.9 percent, the most intraday since Nov. 1, 2012.

“Market conditions deteriorated in 2013 and we believe the uncertainty could continue, depending on how events unfold,” the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said Feb. 7 in a statement.

Net income in the fourth quarter rose to C$64 million ($58 million), or 16 cents a share, from C$41 million, or 10 cents, a year earlier, according to the statement. Excluding one-time items such as the writedown of certain assets in Australia, profit was 15 cents less than the 53-cent average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Global uranium markets have been roiled by plentiful supplies since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan led to a meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. Japan suspended its fleet of reactors while Germany shut down some of its oldest nuclear plants in the disaster’s aftermath.

“The slower-than-expected pace of Japanese reactor restarts, unexpected reactor shutdowns in the United States and temporary shutdowns in South Korea led to demand erosion,” the company said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net

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