Barrick Gold beats Q4 forecasts on higher production and gold prices

Barrick Gold beats Q4 forecasts on higher production and gold prices
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TORONTO — The formation of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture last year, along with strong performances from Latin American, Asia Pacific and Africa/Middle East operations, helped Barrick Gold Corp. beat analyst expectations in the fourth quarter.

The Toronto-based miner reported Wednesday gold production of 5.465 million ounces in 2019, at the top end of its guidance range, while copper production of 432 million pounds beat guidance.

In 2018, it produced 4.527 million ounces of gold and 383 million pounds of copper.

“In the year since the completion of Barrick’s merger with Randgold Resources, we have transformed the new company while creating the world’s largest gold mining complex in Nevada in a transaction that had been unsuccessfully pursued for two decades,” said CEO Mark Bristow.

Barrick closed its US$6-billion acquisition of African-focused Randgold Resources Ltd. about a year ago. The deal resulted in Bristow, Randgold’s founder, becoming chief executive.

Barrick forged a joint venture agreement with Newmont Corp. in Nevada last July that is expected to result in substantial cost savings.

Barrick raised its dividend on Wednesday to seven cents per share, up from a nickel per share, as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of nearly US$1.39 billion.

The company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said it earned 78 cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with a profit of nearly $2.28 billion or $1.30 per share in its third quarter.

On an adjusted basis, Barrick earned 17 cents per share in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from 15 cents per share in its third quarter, and well ahead of analyst expectations of 14 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Strong results allowed Barrick to cut debt net of cash to US$2.2 billion, down 47 per cent from 2018, it said.

Barrick’s realized gold price averaged $1,483 per ounce in the fourth quarter, boosting the 2019 average to $1,396, up from $1,270 in 2018.

The company said it expects to produce between 4.8 million and 5.2 million ounces of gold in 2020 with total cash costs of $650 to $700 per ounce.

Copper production is expected to be 440 million to 500 million pounds in 2020 with cash costs of US$1.50-1.80 per pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ABX)

The Canadian Press

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