Newmont Mining Corp.’s profit nearly doubled in the first quarter, bolstered by higher copper production and sales at its Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia.
The Greenwood Village, Colo., company, the world’s second-largest gold-mining concern by production, has been hurt by lower prices and falling production. In the most recent period, the average realized gold and copper price fell to $1,203 a troy ounce and $2.34 a pound, respectively, compared with $1,293 an ounce and $2.50 a pound a year earlier.
Gold production remained largely flat from a year earlier at 1.21 million ounces while copper production rose to 37,000 metric tons from 24,000 metric tons a year earlier.
Newmont affirmed its guidance of gold production increasing to 4.6 million to 4.9 million ounces in 2015 and reaching 4.7 million to 5.1 million ounces by 2017. The company projects copper production of 130,000 to 160,000 metric in 2015 and said output should then level out to between 115,000 and 135,000 metric tons in 2016 and 2017.
The miner had said it ended the year with gold reserves of 82.2 million ounces, 7.9 billion pounds of copper reserves and 144 million ounces of silver reserves.
For the most-recent period, Newmont reported a profit of $183 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with $100 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding asset sales and other items, profit rose to 46 cents a share from 24 cents a share a year earlier.
Sales rose nearly 12% to $1.97 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 23 cents a share on $1.95 billion in revenue.
Gross margin improved to 48.3% from 38.6% a year earlier.
Shares, down nearly 10% over the past 12 months, rose nearly 3% in recent after-hours trading to $24.11.