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Silver Wheaton Reports Record 2012 Operating And Financial Results

Average cash costs [ 1] in the fourth quarter of 2012 were $4.70 per silver equivalent ounce, compared with $4.06 during the comparable period of 2011. This resulted in cash operating margins [ 1] of $26.76 per silver equivalent ounce, a 5% decrease compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.  The slightly lower margins were primarily a result of the higher production payments associated with the precious metals stream on Hudbay's 777 mine ( $5.90 and $400 per ounce of silver and gold, respectively).

Average cash costs [ 1] for the year ended December 31, 2012, were $4.30 per silver equivalent ounce, compared with $4.09 during the comparable period of 2011. This resulted in cash operating margins [ 1]of $26.79 per silver equivalent ounce, a 12% decrease compared with the year ended December 31, 2011, resulting primarily due to a 10% decrease in the average realized silver price.

Earnings and Operating Cash Flows

Net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012 were $177.7 million ( $0.50 per share), compared with net earnings of $144.7 ( $0.41 per share) for the same period in 2011, an increase of 23%. Cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $254.0 million ( $0.72 per share [ 1]), compared with $163.7 million ( $0.46 per share [ 1]) for the same period in 2011, an increase of 55%. The increase in net earnings and operating cash flows is primarily attributable to the increase in the amount of gold and silver sold in the quarter.

Net earnings for the year ended December 31, 2012, were $586.0 million ( $1.66 per share), compared with net earnings of $550.0 million ( $1.56 per share) for the same period in 2011, an increase of 7%. Cash flow from operations for the year ended December 31, 2012, was $719.4 million ( $2.03 per share [ 1]) compared with $626.4 million ( $1.77 per share [ 1]) for the same period in 2011, an increase of 15%. The increase in net earnings and operating cash flow is primarily attributable to the increase in the amount of gold and silver sold, slightly offset by the decrease in the average realized silver price.

Balance Sheet

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