TORONTO ( TheStreet) -- As it turns out, Yamana Gold's ( AUY) fourth quarter wasn't such a known commodity.

The Canadian mid-tier precious-metals producer reported earnings after the market close Wednesday that missed analysts' expectations, albeit ever so slightly -- 14 cents a share vs. the consensus 15-cent target.

Revenue also fell shy of forecasts, this time by a more substantial margin. Yamana posted a top line of about $400 million; the sell side was looking for $424 million, according to a survey of analysts by Thompson Reuters.

In afternoon trading Wednesday, Yamana shares were changing hands at $10.55, down 59 cents, or 5.3%, on volume of 16.8 million shares. Daily turnover has averaged 14.5 million shares over the last 50 sessions.

On Thursday, during a conference call with analysts, Yamana seemed to say that its penny-per-share miss derived from higher selling, general and administrative costs.

And why the higher SG&A costs?

Executive bonuses, said Yamana executives on the call.

A market-darling among gold miner outfits, Yamana has a reputation as a high-growth operator, yet the company's proven and provable reserves -- the amount of as-yet-unextracted metal that a company says exists in the earth under the claims it's staked -- didn't grow in 2009, sticking at about 17.6 million ounces of gold.

Other gold-mining shares were in the red Thursday -- along with the price of the malleable element itself, which was declining by nearly $10 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Among the large-cap gold names, Barrick Gold's ( ABX) share price was losing 1.2%, Goldcorp ( GG) 1.6% and Newmont Mining ( NEM) 2.4%.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York


Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.