Newmont Earnings Hit by High Closure Costs, Impairment Charge

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Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 earnings after markets closed Tuesday. For the quarter, the gold miner posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.25 on revenues of $1.79 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported a loss per share of $0.03 on revenues of $1.82 billion. Fourth-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.33 and $1.79 billion in revenues.

For the full year Newmont posted EPS of $1.16 and revenues of $6.71 billion compared with an adjusted EPS loss of $0.41 and revenues of $6.09 billion in 2015. Analysts had been expecting EPS of $1.54 and revenues of $7.65 billion. The full year net loss came to $0.41 per share.

On a GAAP basis Newmont posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $0.73 per share due to higher closure liability and impairment charges at its Yanacocha mine. Operating cash flow more than doubled and free cash flow rose to $289 million.

In a separate announcement the company reported gold reserves totaling 68.5 million ounces compared with 71.1 million ounces at the end of 2015. Newmont reported 4.9 million ounces of gold production in 2016, resulting in reserve depletion of 6 million ounces. The company added 4.1 million ounces of new reserves and 6.1 million ounces of gold resources through exploration.

Gold production totaled 4.9 million ounces for the year and the average realized price per ounce improved to $1,243 per ounce, about $100 per ounce higher than the average 2015 price.

The company’s all-in sustaining cost (AISC) was $912 per ounce of gold in the fourth quarter, down 11% year over year.

CEO Gary Goldberg said:

We increased adjusted EBITDA by 25 percent to $2.4 billion and more than doubled free cash flow to nearly $800 million on the back of superior operational performance. We invested these proceeds with an eye to long-term value creation – building two mines, advancing profitable expansions in the Americas and Australia, and adding higher grade ounces to our reserve base. Work to optimize our portfolio culminated in the sale of our PTNNT [PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia] stake for $920 million. These proceeds helped us retire more than $1.3 billion in debt, improve our liquidity and increase dividends. Our plans for 2017 and beyond remain focused on improving our underlying business, strengthening our portfolio and creating value for shareholders.

Shares of Newmont traded down about 0.8% in after-hours trading Tuesday afternoon, at $37.15 in a 52-week range of $24.59 to $46.07. The 12-month consensus price target was $39.88 before today’s report.