Iamgold (TSE:IMG), a Canadian producer of gold focused on South America and Africa, reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter, buoyed by higher sales of attributable gold and lower all-in sustaining costs. Shares advanced.
Net earnings attributable to shareholders climbed to $26.7 million, or $0.07 per share, from $3.5 million, or a penny per share, a year earlier, the Toronto-based company said in a statement late yesterday.
Adjusted earnings were $0.03 compared with $0.05 in the year-earlier period. That beat the $0.01 average estimate of 12 analysts polled by Capital IQ.
Revenue from continuing operations improved to $272.5 million from $195.1 million as attributable gold sales rose to 234,000 ounces from 173,000, although the average realized price fell to $1,201 an ounce from $1,273.
Fourth-quarter attributable gold production totalled 241,000 ounces, up 7 percent quarter-over-quarter and higher for the third straight quarter due to improving grades at Essakane and Rosebel; all-in sustaining costs of $1,021 per ounce were lower for fourth consecutive quarter.
Shares rose 3.1 percent to C$2.99 at 10:12 a.m. in Toronto, paring losses over the past six months to 33 percent.
The company said it expects to produce 820,000 to 860,000 ounces of gold in 2015, and sees a ramp-up in production at Westwood in its first full year of commercial production; all-in sustaining costs for 2015 are forecast at $1,075-$1,175 per ounce.
Iamgold said total attributable proven and probable gold reserves fell 15 percent year-over-year to 8.6 million ounces of gold at the end of 2014.
"The exploration and mine site geology teams made remarkable progress on a number of fronts and are developing a strong pipeline of growth projects, during a time when they, along with their colleagues across the Company have been required to focus on doing more with less,” chief executive officer Steve Letwin said in the statement.