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IAMGOLD (IAG) 2021 Production In-Line with Guidance, Down Y/Y

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IAMGOLD Corporation (IAG - Free Report) reported attributable gold production of 601,000 ounces for 2021, which was down 8% year over year but came near the top end of the company’s guidance of 565,000 to 605,000 ounces. For 2022, the company anticipates attributable gold production in the range of 570,000 ounces to 640,000 ounces.

Attributable gold production for Essakane was 412,000 ounces in 2021, surpassing the guidance of 390,000-400,000 ounces, as the mine continued to benefit from the mill debottlenecking project completed earlier in the year. At Rosebel, annual attributable gold production was 154,000 ounces, near the upper end of the guidance range of 140,000 ounces to 160,000 ounces. Following the restart of underground operations in June 2021, gold production for Westwood was 35,000 ounces, at the lower end of updated guidance of 35,000 to 45,000 ounces. Iamgold’s revenues were around $1.2 billion in 2021 based on attributable gold sales of 590,000 ounces.

Iamgold ended 2021 with approximately $545 million in cash and cash equivalents, $42 million in restricted cash, $8 million in short-term investments and $498 million in its undrawn credit facility.

In the fourth quarter, the company produced 153,000 ounces of gold, flat on a sequential basis. Revenues in the quarter were approximately $295 million, based on attributable gold sales of 152,000 ounces. IAG is slated to release fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 financial results after market close on Feb 23. The company anticipates cash costs to be within the guidance range of $1,115-$1,150 per ounce sold. This guidance is higher than the cash costs of $988 per ounce sold in 2020. All-in sustaining costs ("AISC") are expected between $1,395 and $1,435 per ounce sold. The company had reported AISC of $1,232 per ounce sold in 2020.

Outlook for 2022

Iamgold provided attributable gold production guidance of 570,000 ounces to 640,000 ounces for 2022. Attributable gold production at Essakane is projected to be 360,000-385,000 ounces. Rosebel’s attributable gold production is expected between 155,000 and 180,000 ounces. Gold production at the Westwood complex is forecast at 55,000-75,000 ounces. The company provided cash cost guidance of $1,100 to $1,150 per ounce sold and AISC outlook of $1,650 to $1,690 per ounce sold.

Update on Projects

As part of a focused strategy to prioritize the highest return assets to achieve the strongest net free cash flow and increase value for shareholders, the company has been engaged in a review of its portfolio of assets. The primary objective of this exercise is to deliver an appropriate allocation of capital and resources between the company's existing mines and its Côté Gold project to generate the best return on invested capital while advancing the project to production. Iamgold stated that the Côté Gold Project is 43.4% complete and remains on track for commercial production in the second half of 2023.

Regarding the Rosebel mine, the company provided an updated Mineral Reserves estimate of 3.8 million ounces of gold and an updated Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources estimate of 6.3 million ounces of gold (as of Dec 31, 2021). Production is expected to ramp up to an estimated 300,000 ounces per year on a 100% basis starting in 2025 until the current expected end of mine life in 2033.

CEO Steps Down

The company announced that Gordon Stothart, president and CEO, has stepped down and has also resigned from the Board of Directors. While the company is searching for the next CEO, Daniella Dimitrov, CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development, has been appointed as president and interim chief executive officer.

Price Performance

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Shares of the company have fallen 15.3% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 12.5%.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Iamgold currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Commercial Metals Company (CMC - Free Report) , Albemarle Corporation (ALB - Free Report) and AdvanSix Inc. (ASIX - Free Report) .
Commercial Metals has a projected earnings growth rate of 10.5% for the current fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CMC's current fiscal year earnings has been revised upward by 6.6% over the past 60 days. CMC sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Commercial Metals beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 7.4%. CMC has rallied around 69% in a year.

Albemarle, sporting a Zacks Rank #1, has an expected earnings growth rate of 49.8% for the current year. ALB's consensus estimate for the current year has been revised upward by 4% over the past 60 days.

Albemarle beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 22.1%. ALB shares have appreciated 2% in a year.

AdvanSix, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 3.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ASIX’s earnings for the current year has been revised upward by 1.6% in the past 60 days.

AdvanSix beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 46.9%. ASIX has soared 101% in a year.