Sherritt International Corporation (



Q4 2010 Earnings Call

February 23, 2011 2:00 pm ET


Paula Myson – Managing Director Investor Relations and External Communications

Ian W. Delaney – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Dean R. Chambers – Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President – Finance



Onno Rutten – UBS Securities

Robin Kozar – RBC Capital Markets

Anoop Prihar – GMP Securities L.P

Tony Robson – BMO Capital Markets

John F. Hughes – Desjardins Securities Inc



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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Sherritt International Corporations Fourth Quarter Results Conference Call. (Operator instructions) I would like to remind everyone that this conference is being recorded today, Wednesday, February 23, [2010] and I will now turn the conference over to Paula Myson, Managing Director Investor Relations and External Communications. Please go ahead.

Paula Myson

Thank you Luke and good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the call. Our press release was issued this morning. A copy of that release, the MD&A, and full financial statements are available on our website.

In addition to the analysts and investors on the call the media will participate on a listen only basis. A replay of this call will be available on our website for a month afternoon this call.

I’d like to remind everyone that certain of the comments in the release and on this call include forward-looking statements. Please refer to the cautionary language included in the press release and the risk factors described in our CEDAR filings.

On the call today are Ian Delaney, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Dean Chambers, our Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. We’ll open with a few brief comments on the quarter and then take your questions. So let’s begin, I’ll turn the call over to Ian.

Ian W. Delaney

Thank you Paula and thank you to the people on the phone for taking the time to listen to us this afternoon, I would just like to make a few opening comments and I’ll ask my colleague Dean Chambers to provide some more detail on the quarter and then Dean, Paula and I will be on the line to answer to any questions that people on the phone might have.

So let me start by saying it is another and delightfully routine quarter, good earnings. We finished the quarter with quite a strong cash position. Total cash availability on the order of $1.4 billion of which more than $800 million is in cash in bank. But nothing, no unusual events around year-end numbers reporting, quite a few extraordinary items to be dealt with. Good production, good operation pretty much across the board and no serious [flat] spots.

For us of course the big operational challenge is the completion of the Ambatovy Project which made great strides in the quarter. We are still looking for first metal here this summer. We’ve had pretty good weather, pretty good construction weather in the last couple of days because of the cyclone couple of weeks ago but in the Maine, the weather has been with us and we’ve been making great progress.

Of course the big operational challenge for us for the next year is to complete that project, ramp it up and get to the financial completion point. The rest of the company as indicated operating pretty well.

No serious deficiencies, costs coming in line just about as projected where we would expect it would be for the commodity prices that we're experiencing, so not much to report there by the way of extraordinary and perhaps I will ask Dean to comment in detail.

Dean R. Chambers

Thanks Ian and good afternoon to those of you on the call. I will take a few minutes to try to add some color to our release of our earnings today as well as to our outlook for 2011.

Our fourth quarter earnings were $81 million or $0.28 per share, which compares quite favorably to the third quarter of 2010 where our earnings were $57.6 million and compares nicely to the fourth quarter of 2009 were earnings were $48.3 million. Full-year 2010 earnings were $214 million or $0.73 a share compared to 2009 full-year earnings of $85.7 million or $0.29 a share.

So as Ian said, it’s been a strong quarter and a strong year reflecting strong commodity prices, especially in nickel and export thermal coal and consistent production throughout all of our businesses. It’s actually evidenced by number of production records.

Certainly in metals, we set the [low] operations at a mixed sulphide production record for the entire year as well as at the refinery, a full year nickel production record. Both prairie and Mountain Operations in coals had quarterly production records in the fourth quarter and on a 100% basis Mountain Operations set a full-year production record of 4.2 million tons for the entire year, largely reflecting the opening of the Obed mine that we opened up in 2009.

So looking at our production outlook for 2011 in Metals, pretty consistent with 2010, some impact of grade on production is expected in 2011, but generally very strong production again in the coming year. Increase production in coal as many of the things that affected production in 2010 are behind us, both in terms of [cluster] demand in Prairie Operations and permitting and operational issues in Mountain Operations, so expecting a good year out of coal as well.

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