VANCOUVER, British Columbia ( TheStreet) -- Eldorado Gold ( EGO) reported net income of $102.4 million, or 26 cents a share, in 2009 and announced record gold production of 363,509 ounces for the year, an impressive 17.7% increase from 2008. A year earlier, the company earned $163.7 million, or 46 cents a share. Shares of Eldorado Gold Monday were trading down 40 cents, or 3.1%, to $12.42. Meanwhile, the average realized gold price stood at $995 an ounce, a 13.6% increase from last year on strong appreciation in gold prices during the year. The average realized price during the first quarter of 2009 was significantly higher at $1,103 compared with $800 a year earlier. Eldorado has plans to produce more than 1 million ounces of gold annually by 2013 and is actively working on exploration and development projects in Brazil, China, Greece, Turkey, and surrounding regions. Commenting on 2009 earnings, President and CEO Paul Wright stated, "We had record quarterly production with strong performance from both our Kisladag and Tanjianshan gold mines. And with the successful completion of our acquisition of Sino Gold and the continued development of our projects in Turkey, China and Greece, we are solidifying our position as one of the world's lowest cost gold producers." The company forecasts production and cash costs in the range of 550,000 to 600,000 ounces and $385 to $400 an ounce, respectively this year. The company expects a reduction in costs to $315 to $325 an ounce during 2011, helped by an increase in production to 790,000 to 860,000 ounces of gold. The Kisladag mine in Turkey is set to produce 230,000 to 240,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $310 to $330 an ounce this year. The Eastern Dragon mine in China and the Efemcukuru mine in Turkey are likely to begin production during 2011 and are projected to produce 160,000 to 180,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $140 to $210. Eldorado continues to be one of the least-cost pure gold producers with a total cash cost of $337 an ounce for 2009. In comparison, the leader in gold production, Barrick Gold ( ABX) reported a total cash cost of $466 an ounce. Other leading producers, Goldcorp ( GG), Kinross Gold ( KGC), and Newmont Mining ( NEM) reported total cash costs per gold ounce (produced as co-product) of $422, $437, and $468 an ounce, respectively.
The company continues to remain financially strong with a cash balance of about $315 million as of the end of 2009. During 2010, the company expects capital expenditures of $120 million and $160 million for existing mines and development projects, respectively. According to analysts polled by Bloomberg, the company is set to report earnings of 33 cents a share for 2010, 69 cents for 2011, and 73 cents for 2012. The stock has nine "buy," seven "hold" and no "sell" ratings, according to TheStreet's analyst ratings guide.