) recently announced a 33% hike in its quarterly dividend. As a
result, the dividend will now rise to 20 cents per share from the
previous payout of 15 cents. The revised dividend will be paid on
June 15, 2012 to shareholders of record as of May 31, 2012.
The company's announcement of dividend increase is in sync with
its strategy of giving higher returns to its shareholders.
Moreover, Barrick's solid earnings coupled with its positive
outlook on gold prices enable it to increase its dividend and make
higher return on its project pipeline.
Recently, Barrick released its first-quarter 2012 earnings. The
company's adjusted net earnings (excluding one time items) rose 8%
to $1.09 per share in the quarter from $1.01 in the prior-year
quarter. The results came in line with the Zacks Consensus
Estimate. Profit, as reported, inched up roughly 3% year over year
to $1.03 billion (or $1.03 a share). The growth were
attributable to higher average realized gold price.
Revenues came in at $3,644 million, up 18% from $3,087 million
in the year-ago quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
$3,758 million. The company produced 1.88 million ounces of gold in
the quarter versus 1.96 million ounces in the year-ago period.
Copper production in the quarter amounted to 117 million pounds,
a 56% jump from the year-ago production of 75 million pounds. Total
gold cash costs jumped 24.7% to $545 per ounce of gold, while total
cash cost for copper increased to $2.08 per pound from $1.25 per
pound in the prior-year quarter.
Barrick Gold maintained its 2012 forecast of 7.3 -7.8 million
ounces of gold and 550 -600 million pounds of copper. The company,
however, increased its exploration budget to $450-$490 million from
the prior-year actual expenditure of $350 million driven by
exploration success in 2011. It remains on track to advance
construction at Pueblo Viejo and Pascua-Lama, with first production
expected in mid-2012 and mid-2013, respectively.
We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on Barrick
Gold which competes with
AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.
Newmont Mining Corp.
). The stock maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a
short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating.
BARRICK GOLD CP (ABX): Free Stock Analysis
ANGLOGOLD LTD (AU): Free Stock Analysis Report
NEWMONT MINING (NEM): Free Stock Analysis
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