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Silver Standard Tops Estimates

Silver Standard Resources Inc.’s (SSRI - Snapshot Report) second quarter fiscal 2012 earnings were 43 cents per share compared with 57 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The results comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 2 cents per share.

Operational Updates

Total revenues improved 10% year over year to $42.4 million in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $37 million. The company sold 1.9 million ounces of silver in the quarter while zinc sales amounted to 1.8 million pounds.

Cost of sales was $35.7 million in the quarter compared with $31.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Income from mine operations dropped 57.3% year over year to $6.8 million.

General and administrative expenses were $6.7 million compared with $7 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating loss in the quarter amounted to $2.3 million compared with operating income of $6.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

Mine Production Details

Silver produced at the Pirquitas mine remained flat year over year at 2 million ounces. Zinc production was 1.8 million pounds, declining 45% sequentially due to the company’s focus on mining on the southern side of the pit containing lower amount of zinc ore.

During the second quarter, 386,000 tons of ore were processed at an average milling rate of 4,246 tons per day compared with 95,000 tons at an average of 3,241 tons per day in the second quarter of 2011.

Ore milled contained an average silver grade of 219 g/t compared with 261 g/t in the year-ago comparable period. Silver recoveries were 74.5% versus 80% in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Updates

Cash and cash equivalents amounted to $351.8 million as of June 30, 2012, compared with $329.1 million as of December 31, 2011. Cash provided by operating activities was $11.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2012, compared with $7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2011.

Outlook

The company expects to produce between 8.2 and 8.5 million ounces of silver. Direct mining costs are expected to lie within $11.85 and $12.85 per ounce of silver in 2012. The company anticipates producing zinc in the range of 10.5 to 11.5 million pounds in 2012.

Capital expenditure at the Pirquitas mine has been projected at $6 million for the second half and $18 million for 2012. The company expects that expenses related to exploration will be $16 million for the second half and $22 million for 2012.

Silver Standard retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

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