Barrick Gold posts another big quarterly loss
FILE - In this May 23, 2013 file photo, mining machinery and barrels with chemicals sit on the facilities of Barrick Gold Corp's Pascua Lama project in northern Chile. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz, File)
TORONTO -- Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX), citing massive impairment charges on mine projects in Africa and Chile, has reported another multibillion-dollar net loss in its most recent quarter.
Canada's second-largest gold miner by market capitalization says it net loss in the three months ended Dec. 31 was US$2.85 billion or US$2.45 per share, compared with a net loss of US$2.83 billion or US$2.61 per share in the same 2013 period when it had fewer shares.
Revenue was US$2.51 billion, down from US$2.94 billion as the company sold fewer ounces of gold -- 1.57 million versus 1.83 million -- at an average realized price of US$1,204 per ounce compared with $1,272 in the 2013 quarter.
The quarterly loss reflected the impact of US$2.8 billion in after-tax impairment charges primarily related to the Lumwana mine in Zambia (US$930 million) and the Cerro Casale project in Chile (US$778 million), the company said in an earnings report issued Wednesday after markets closed.
Fourth-quarter adjusted net earnings were US174 million or 15 U.S. cents per share, compared with US$406 million or 37 cents in the 2013 quarter.
For the full year, Barrick recorded a net loss of US$2.91 billion or $2.50 per share, reflecting the impact of $3.4 billion in after-tax impairment charges. The full-year net loss in 2013 was US$10.37 billion or US$10.14 per share.
Looking forward, the company said that in 2015 it intended to reduce its net debt by at least $3 billion in a move to "begin restoring our balance sheet to a position of strength."
Meanwhile, the company also said it intended link compensation to performance by 35 top executives.
"Each year, these leaders will be graded on their collective performance, as measured against a transparent long-term scorecard disclosed to shareholders in advance," it said.
Barrick said a significant portion of total compensation will be long-term in nature, awarded in units that convert into Barrick common shares which cannot be sold until an individual retires or leaves the company.
A smaller proportion of total compensation will be in the form of annual bonuses determined for each individual "based on a personal scorecard tailored to the individual's specific responsibilities."
Barrick was among several well-known miners reporting Wednesday.
Among them, Iamgold (TSX:IMG) reported fourth-quarter net earnings attributable to shareholders of US$26.7 million or seven cents per share, up from US$3.5 million or a penny per share in the same year-earlier period.
Revenue from continuing operations improved to $272.5 million from $195.1 million as attributable gold sales rose to 234,000 ounces from 173,000, although the average realized price fell to US$1,201 an ounce from US$1,273.
Based metal miner Lundin Mining (TSX:LUN) reported net earnings attributable to shareholders of US$25.8 million or four cents per share, down from US$42.1 million or seven cents per share despite an increase in sales to US$443 million from US $186.9 million.
Net earnings in the quarter includes a non-cash impairment charge of $32.3 million or five cents per share reflecting cessation of greenfield exploration programs in Portugal and relinquishment of certain mineral concessions.