Will Barrick Gold (ABX) Stock be Affected Today After Announcing $1 Billion Mine Closure?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Barrick Gold Corp.  (ABX)  announced today that it will initiate procedures to suspend operations at the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia following the passage of legislation that raises the royalty rate on the country's open pit mining operations to 20% from 6%.

Barrick expects its fourth-quarter financial results will include an impairment charge on the Lumwana project, which employs about 4,000 people, the Toronto-based miner said.

The company said today the mine's current net carrying value is about $1 billion.

In the first nine months of 2014, Lumwana produced 138 million pounds of copper at C3 fully allocated costs of $2.98 per pound. The mine had 6.6 billion pounds of copper in reserves as of December 31, 2013.

Shares of Barrick Gold are up 2.14% to $10.99.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BARRICK GOLD CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BARRICK GOLD CORP (ABX) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $172.00 million to $125.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $852.00 million or 30.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, BARRICK GOLD CORP has marginally lower results.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 27.84%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 38.88% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • BARRICK GOLD CORP's earnings per share declined by 38.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BARRICK GOLD CORP reported poor results of -$9.63 versus -$0.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.68 versus -$9.63).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, BARRICK GOLD CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABX Ratings Report

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