WRAPUP 1 Kinross, Yamana profits up on soaring gold price

Tue May 3, 2011 6:47pm EDT

* Kinross Q1 EPS $0.16 vs Street-view $0.14

* Kinross sees record revenues on higher gold prices

* Boosts Q1 production by 18 percent

* Yamana Q1 EPS $0.21 vs Street view $0.22 (Wraps Kinross, Yamana results; in U.S. dollars unless noted)

By Julie Gordon

TORONTO, May 2 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold (K.TO) and smaller rival Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) posted stronger quarterly profits on Tuesday, boosted by the rising price of bullion.

The results were in line with those of other North American gold miners, who have recorded hefty profits this year, driven by the jump in gold prices.

Kinross beat analyst expectations as rising realized gold prices and an 18 percent boost in production sent its revenue to a record high.

The Toronto-based miner, which completed a $350 million deal in April to gain full ownership of the Kupol mine in Russia, said earnings rose to $255.5 million, or 23 cents a share. That compared with $181.3 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier.

Earnings per share fell as result of a higher number of shares outstanding this year.

Adjusted net earnings were $180.3 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $99.7 million, or 14 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2010.

Analysts had expected earnings of 14 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue for the quarter was a record $937.0 million, up 42 percent from $657.6 million, as the company's average realized gold prices rose 25 percent to $1,327 an ounce.

Production for the quarter was 642,857 gold equivalent ounces, up 18 percent from a year earlier.

The company also boosted its full-year production outlook to 2.6 million-2.7 million ounces from 2.5 million-2.6 million ounces.

Kinross added that it is drilling "around the clock" to define the Tasiast deposit in Mauritania, a project it acquired through its $7 billion deal to buy Red Back mining.

The company said a feasibility study due later this year is 62 percent complete.

"Results at the main deposit continue to fulfill our expectations," Chief Executive Tye Burt said in a release.

"Encouraging results at other targets along the trend reinforce our belief that Tasiast has the potential to develop into a major gold producing district," he added.

YAMANA MISSES

Yamana also saw a strong first quarter, lifted by higher precious metal prices and a boost in production, but it slightly missed analyst expectations.

The Toronto-based miner said earnings increased to $148 million, or 20 cents a share, in the three months to March 31, from $132 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings were $152.2 million, or 21 cents a share, up from $75.9 million, or 10 cents a share, just below analyst expectations of 22 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue was $476.1 million, up 37 percent from $346.3 million. The company also announced a second-quarter dividend of 3 cents a share to be paid in July.

Production for the quarter was up 11 percent at 267,368 gold equivalent ounces. The company plans to boost production by 60 percent within the next three years.

"The good news here is Yamana does have several smaller projects that probably won't be as exposed to capex creep as the big companies with the big capital intensive project," said Wellington West mining analyst Steve Parsons.

"So it's better positioned to navigate inflationary pressures than many of its peers," he added.

The mining industry has been hit by rising development and cash costs, as inflation weighs on oil and metal prices.

Yamana owns producing mines in Chile, Argentina and Brazil, and has various exploration and development stage projects in Latin America. (Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by Rob Wilson)

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