Barrick Gold's Earnings Fall

Shares edge lower after the report.
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Shares of the Toronto-based gold miner

Barrick Gold

(ABX)

were slipping Thursday, a day after the firm reported a drop in its third-quarter income.

Barrick said late Wednesday that it earned 39 cents a share during the three months ended Sept. 30, down from 46 cents a share in the same period a year ago. Analysts had been expecting a decline, but only to 40 cents, on average.

"Our operations are delivering all of their production into the spot market just as gold prices have broken 27-year highs," said CEO Greg Wilkins in a prepared statement.

Barrick's stock was recently down 1.7% at $43.37, but the shares are still near their 52-week high. That's because they've been buoyed by the strong price of gold, which currently trades at around $790 an ounce and is only modestly bellow its all-time high of $825 set in 1980.

Revenue grew to $1.7 billion for the quarter from $1.6 billion in the same period a year ago. Production volume of gold dropped slightly, while copper output rose.

Barrick says it received an average price of $681 per ounce of gold sold, up from $564 previously, but at the same time cash costs jumped to $370 an ounce from $281.

The company realized a price of $3.49 a pound for copper during the three-month period, up from $3.39, but the increase was offset by a jump in cash costs to 91 cents a pound from 80 cents.

Barrick's results came on the heels of its agreement to purchase

Arizona Star Resource

for C$773 million.