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Barrick Gold (ABX) Beats Q1 Earnings, Misses on Revenues

Barrick Gold’s ABX first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per share (excluding one-time items) of 11 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Earnings also increased considerably by 120% from the year-ago quarter figure of 5 cents per share.

On a reported basis, loss for the first quarter came in at $83 million or 7 cents per share as against earnings of $57 million or 5 cents per share in the prior-year quarter.

Revenues fell around 14% year over year to $1,930 million in the reported quarter and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,972 million.

Average realized price of gold decreased 3.1% year over year to $1,181 per ounce in the quarter. All-in costs declined 26% to $758 per ounce and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) fell roughly 24% to $706 per ounce in the reported quarter.

Gold

Total gold production declined to 1,280 million ounces in first-quarter 2016 from 1390 million ounces a year ago.

The Goldstrike mine in the North American region produced 249,000 ounces of gold in the quarter, up 20.3% year over year, at an average AISC of $709 per ounce (down 19.1%). Lower AISC was due to lower sustaining capital spending.

The Cortez mine produced 247,000 ounces of gold in the quarter, up 85.7% year over year, at an average AISC of $469 per ounce.

Production at Pueblo Viejo fell 27.4% to 172,000 ounces. Average AISC fell 26.5% to $496 per ounce. Lower AISC resulted from lower cash costs.

Copper

Copper production decreased to 111 million pounds from 118 million pounds in the prior-year quarter. C1 cash cost was $1.47 per pound in the quarter, down from $1.84 per pound in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Position

Cash and cash equivalents were $2,323 million as of Mar 31, 2016, up roughly 2.9% from $2,258 million as of Mar 31, 2015. Long-term debt was roughly $8,940 million, down from around $12,605 million a year ago.

Barrick generated $181 million in free cash flow in the quarter.

Debt Reduction

During the quarter, the company reduced its total debt by $842 million that represented 42% of its debt reduction target for the year.

In 2016, Barrick plans to reduce its total debt by at least $2 billion by drawing on its existing cash balance, delivering free cash flow from operations, selling additional non-core assets, and creating new joint ventures and partnerships.

Guidance

For 2016, the company reiterated its gold production outlook and expects to produce 5–5.5 million ounces of gold at lower AISC of $760–$810 per ounce. The company also reaffirmed its copper production outlook and expects it to be in the range of 370–410 million pounds.

However, reflecting the impact of successful cost-cutting initiatives at Lumwana, the company lowered its copper AISC cost guidance to the range of $1.95–$2.25 per pound from the previous expectation of $2.05–$2.35 per pound.

Zacks Rank

Currently, Barrick carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked mining companies include Vista Gold Corp. VGZ, Alamos Gold, Inc. AGI and Eldorado Gold Corporation EGO. While Vista Gold sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Alamos Gold and Eldorado carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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