Horsehead Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: ZINC) reported a consolidated net loss of $(9.1) million, or $(0.21) per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2012, compared to net earnings for the third quarter of 2011 of $23.1 million, or $0.52 per diluted share. Consolidated net earnings, excluding non-cash charges associated with hedges and impairment charges, were $0.6 million for the third quarter of 2012, or $0.01 per diluted share. For the third quarter of 2011, consolidated net loss, excluding non-cash gains associated with hedges, were $(0.3) million, or $(0.01) per diluted share. For the current quarter, the LME zinc price was 15% lower versus the same quarter last year, reducing earnings an estimated $0.12 per share.
“While lower commodity prices had a noticeable effect on our earnings, we were very pleased with the operating performance of our businesses. Compared against the same quarter last year, our EAF dust recycling facilities processed 17% more dust despite lower steel industry output, our zinc smelter produced 7% more zinc and our INMETCO operations produced 6% more nickel remelt alloy. Along with these improvements, we realized lower conversion cost per pound of zinc at both our recycling plants and our smelter. The proportion of feed to our smelter recovered from EAF dust increased from 73% in the prior year’s quarter to 86% this quarter, the highest level on record. We also realized higher price premiums on both zinc metal and zinc oxide. These positives more than offset the negative impact of a 15% decline in the price of zinc and a 26% decline in the price of nickel. When the non-cash impact of hedge write-offs, mark-to-market adjustments and asset impairments are eliminated, our operating results were slightly positive despite much lower commodity prices compared with the prior year,” said Jim Hensler, President and Chief Executive Officer.