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Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. ( HMY ) recorded net profit of 16 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012 versus last quarter’s loss of 1 cent per share and year-ago quarters profit of 3 cents. Results were a penny ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 15 cents.
Revenues were up 30.3% to $550 million versus $422 million in the prior-year quarter and up 8.9% sequentially from $505 million. The increase in revenue was driven by a rise in the gold price received, offset by a decrease in gold sold.
Gold production inched up 0.5% sequentially to 328,162 ounces. Cash operating costs increased mainly due to higher electricity and stores costs. Cash operating profits upped 37.6% to $183 million, as the increase in revenue was offset by a surge in production cost.
Cost of sales plunged 13.2% sequentially to $447 million and jumped 8.8% over the previous year quarter. Total production cost was $367 million in the reported quarter versus $372 million in the prior-year quarter and $333 million in the comparable year-ago quarter. Gross profit in the quarter was $103 million versus a gross loss of $10 million in the prior-year quarter and a gross profit of $11 million in the year-ago quarter.
Cash and cash equivalents amounted to $164 million as of September 30, 2011 versus $111 million as of September 30, 2010.
Cash flow from operations was $149 million as of September 30, 2011 versus $93 million as of September 30, 2010.
The company is showing a significant progress both in the growth of resources as well as diversity. The company is focused on continuing to deliver on its long-term targets while maximizing shareholder value.
Harmony has significantly improved the quality of its production, which it will continue to do with better cash costs and free cash flow in future. The company has several world-class mines in South Africa, which are currently in the build-up phase and these together with Hidden Valley, will be significant contributors to Harmony’s set production targets.
Currently, Harmony has a short-term (1 to 3 months) Zacks #4 Rank (Sell), but a long-term (6 months and higher) Underperform recommendation.
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