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Feb 20, 2020

Newmont exceeds profit expectations as gold provides tailwind

Christine Poole discusses Newmont

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Newmont Corp., the world’s largest gold miner, reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, helped by a tailwind from higher bullion prices. The shares rose.

Adjusted fourth-quarter earnings were 50 cents a share on revenue of US$2.97 billion, the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based miner said Thursday in its earnings statement. That beat analysts’ estimates for profit of 46 cents and sales of US$2.93 billion.

Spot gold averaged about US$1,483 an ounce in the fourth quarter, 21 per cent more than a year earlier. The metal has extended gains this year to trade above US$1,600 as the coronavirus weighs on expectations for economic growth, fueling investor demand for haven assets.

Miners have been sharing the windfall from higher gold prices with investors in the form of higher dividends. Newmont led the pack in January with its promise of a 79 per cent hike to US$1 per-share annually. The increase will take effect later in the year.

The company’s production and cost guidance over the next five years was unchanged, solidifying Newmont’s lead over rival Barrick Gold Corp.

The rise in spot gold prices helped mitigate higher cost of sales at the assets it acquired through its US$10 billion merger with Goldcorp Inc. last year.

The results were released before the start of regular trading in New York, where Newmont rose 0.6% at 7:44 a.m. The shares gained 34 per cent in the 12 months through Wednesday while gold futures rose 20 per cent.