Higher prices, lower production costs help Cameco

Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:04am EST

* Q4 net EPS C$0.52 vs C$1.52 a year-ago

* Year-ago figures included C$374 million gain

* Company forecasts 10-15 percent rise in revenue in 2011

TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Net profits fell sharply at uranium producer Cameco Corp (CCO.TO), but earnings were up 12 percent after stripping out the impact of a one-time 2009 gain, lifted by higher uranium prices and lower production costs.

Cameco, the world's largest publicly listed uranium producer, reported net earnings of C$207 million ($209 million), or 52 Canadian cents a share, in its fourth quarter, down from C$598 million, or C$1.52 per share, in a year-ago period that included a C$374 million gain from sale of Cameco's interest in mining firm Centerra.

Adjusted to exclude that gain and other one-off factors, the company reported earnings of C$191 million, or 48 Canadian cents a share, up from C$170 million, or 43 Canadian cents a share, in a statement released late on Friday.

Revenue rose to C$673 million, from C$659 million.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco, the largest publicly listed uranium producer, said it expected revenue to rise 10-15 percent this year. It forecast 2011 production of 21.9 million pounds of uranium, which is used to fuel nuclear power stations.

"Our company is well-positioned to prosper from the growing need for clean energy," Chief Executive Jerry Grandey said in the statement. "We remain committed to our strategy of doubling production to 40 million pounds by 2018." ($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Julie Gordon and Janet Guttsman; Editing by Eric Beech)

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