TORONTO - Barrick Gold Corp. raised its dividend as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of nearly US$1.39 billion.

The gold miner, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of seven cents per share, up from a nickel per share.

The increased payment to shareholders came as Barrick earned 78 cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with a profit of nearly US$2.28 billion or US$1.30 per share in its third quarter.

On an adjusted basis, Barrick says it earned 17 cents per share in its fourth quarter, up from 15 cents per share in its third quarter.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 14 cents per share in Barrick's latest quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Barrick signed a deal last month with the Tanzanian government to formalize a joint venture related to three mines that ended a long-running tax dispute with the African country.