Barrick Posts $3.1B 4Q Loss On Copper Mine Charges

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Barrick Gold Corp. on Thursday posted a $3.06 billion fourth-quarter loss. Earnings were pulled down by a hefty charge related to its copper business, but adjusted profit beat Wall Street predictions.

The Canadian mining company also said it doesn't have plans for any new mines, citing the current "challenging environment." In addition it won't go forward with an expansion project at its Lumwana copper mine, pointing to impairment charges and higher-than-expected costs.

Barrick shares rose 5 percent in morning trading.

The fourth-quarter loss amounted to $3.06 per share and compared with a profit of $959 million, or 96 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding $4.2 billion in impairment charges mainly related to the copper business, the company earned $1.11 per share.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $4.19 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected profit of $1.06 per share on $3.84 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Barrick said the recent quarter's profit was hurt by higher gold and copper costs, along with lower prices for the copper it sold. Those factors were partially offset by higher gold prices and higher gold and copper sales volumes, along with lower income tax expenses, the company said.

For the full year 2012, Barrick posted a loss of $665 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with a profit of $4.48 billion, or $4.48 per share, in 2011. Revenue increased to $14.55 billion from $14.24 billion.

The company expects 2013 gold production between 7 million and 7.4 million ounces, down from 7.42 million ounces in 2012. Copper production is expected to total between 480 million and 540 million pounds, up from 468 million in 2012.

Barrick shares rose $1.56, or 4.9 percent, to $33.15 in morning trading.
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