Molycorp Jumps as Loss Narrows, Rare-Earth Output Gains

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.

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)
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