USEC Inc. (NYSE:USU) today reported a net income of $4.5 million or 4 cents per share for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, compared to a net loss of $6.9 million or 6 cents per share for the third quarter of 2011. For the nine-month period of 2012, the company reported a net loss of $116.3 million or 95 cents per share compared to a net loss of $44.7 million or 37 cents per share in the same period of 2011.
Among the factors affecting financial results for the third quarter of 2012 was higher gross profit from the low enriched uranium (LEU) sector driven by the delivery of higher volumes of separative work units (SWU). Increased SWU volume reflects the variability of timing of utility customer orders that USEC and customers have advanced from later in 2012 and from 2013, as well as the continued implementation of the one-year program at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant to enrich depleted uranium as feedstock to produce low enriched uranium under a multi-party arrangement. The trend that began in 2011 toward lower uranium sales continued as there were no uranium sales during the third quarter as compared to $21.3 million in uranium revenue in the third quarter of 2011. Gross profit for the quarter was $37.5 million compared to $26.9 million in the same period last year.
Third quarter results were also affected by spending on the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program for the American Centrifuge technology. Since the fourth quarter of 2011, USEC has expensed all American Centrifuge project costs, including interest expense that previously would have been capitalized. Advanced technology costs of $45.1 million and interest expense of $12.3 million in the third quarter of 2012, which together totaled $57.4 million, were partially offset by $34.6 million in other income that represents the Department of Energy’s share of the RD&D program.