Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX - Free Report) recorded net loss (attributable to equity holders) of $314 million or 27 per share for fourth-quarter 2017 against net earnings of $425 million or 36 cents a year ago.
Barring one-time items, adjusted net earnings came in at $253 million or 22 cents per share for the quarter. Earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 20 cents.
Revenues fell roughly 3.9% year over year to $2,228 million in the fourth quarter, but beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,181 million.
Cost of sales fell roughly 3% year over year to $1,411 million in the quarter.
Full-Year 2017 Results
For 2017, Barrick Gold reported adjusted net earnings of $876 million or 75 cents per share, up 7% from $818 million or 70 cents per share in 2016.
Revenues went down roughly 2.2% year over year to $8,374 million.
Total gold production was 1.339 million ounces in the fourth quarter, down roughly 11.7% from 1.516 million ounces a year ago.
Average realized price of gold rose 5.2% year over year to $1,280 per ounce in the quarter. All-in sustaining costs (AISC) increased 3.3% year over year to $756 per ounce from $732 in the year-ago quarter.
Copper production decreased to 99 million pounds in the fourth quarter from 101 million pounds in the prior-year quarter. Average realized copper price was $3.34 per pound, up from $2.62 a year ago.
Cash and cash equivalents were $2,234 million at the end of 2017, down roughly 6.5% year over year.
During 2017, Barrick Gold reduced total debt by $1.51 billion to $6.4 billion, surpassing its target of $1.45 billion. The company plans to reduce its total debt to $5 billion by the end of 2018, using portfolio optimizing and cash flows from operations. Also, more than three-quarters of the company’s $6.4 billion of outstanding debt will not mature until 2032.
For 2018, Barrick Gold anticipates gold production in the range of 4.5-5 million ounces at AISC of $765-$815 per ounce and cost of sales of $810-$850 per ounce.
Per the company, higher cost guidance reflects lower expected gold production from Pueblo Viejo, Veladero and Barrick Nevada, higher costs at Acacia and increased processing of higher-cost inventory. Moreover, Barrick Gold expects gold production for the first quarter to be roughly 1 million ounces at proportionately higher costs than those anticipated for the remainder of the year, mainly due to scheduled maintenance at Pueblo Viejo and lower grades at Barrick Nevada.
Barrick Gold’s shares have lost 2.2% in the last three months, outperforming the 5.4% decline recorded by its industry.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Barrick Gold currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD - Free Report) , The Mosaic Company (MOS - Free Report) and United States Steel Corporation (X - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Steel Dynamics has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12%. Its shares have soared 29.5% over the last six months.
Mosaic has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 9.5%. Its shares have moved up 25.1% over the past six months.
U.S. Steel has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8%. Its shares have rallied 57.1% over the last six months.
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