* Fourth-quarter adj profit $0.29 vs est $0.20
* Sees 2013 output at Rochester mine up by 35-50 pct
* Fourth-quarter metal sales fall 17 pct, but prices up
* Expects La Preciosa to start production in 2016
* Shares up 3 pct
By Garima Goel
Feb 21 Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp said
output at its Rochester mine would rise at least 35 percent this
year after contributing record production in the fourth quarter,
helping the No. 1 U.S.-based silver miner beat analysts' profit
Coeur D'Alene said quarterly production at the mine in
Nevada, its longest running, helped offset a decline in output
in Mexico and Bolivia. Higher production this year would hold
down costs that are challenging miners worldwide, the company
Coeur's shares rose 3 percent to $19.34 on the New York
Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Miners across the globe are under pressure to cut costs as
they contend with rising wages, labor unrest and concerns about
commodity prices in a fragile global economy.
Coeur d'Alene President and Chief Executive Mitchell Krebs
said production at the Rochester mine was expected to increase
by 35 percent to 50 percent this year from 2012.
"We anticipate (the increase) will drive cash operating
costs down and significantly increase the mine's cash flow,"
Krebs said in a statement.
Coeur d'Alene said it expected to produce 18.0 million to
19.5 million ounces of silver in 2013, compared with 18.0
million ounces last year. Gold output is estimated within a
range of 250,000 ounces to 265,000 ounces this year, up from
The company, named after the city in Idaho where it is
based, said on Wednesday it would buy Canada-based Orko Silver
Corp to secure access to Orka's only project, La Preciosa
in Mexico, one of the largest undeveloped silver deposits in the
La Preciosa is likely to begin production in the second half
of 2016, Krebs said on a conference call with analysts. The
company has estimated that the project could produce 7 million
to 9 million ounces of silver annually.
The company's $344.9 million bid for Orka had topped a rival
offer from First Majestic Silver Corp.
PROFIT BEATS ESTIMATES
Excluding one-time items, fourth-quarter profit was 29 cents
per share. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 20 cents
per share on revenue of $230 million, according to Thomson
Coeur's quarterly profit more than tripled to $37.6 million,
or 42 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $11.4
million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company said its average realized price for silver rose
5 percent in the fourth quarter, while gold prices rose 2
Metal sales, however, fell 17 percent to $205.9 million in
the quarter, hurt by a decline in output at the Palmarejo mine
in Mexico and San Bartolome in Bolivia.
Silver output at the Rochester mine, in contrast, more than
doubled to 828,000 ounces in the quarter. Gold output at the
mine - which Coeur said could one day become its second-largest
- soared to 12,055 ounces in the period.
Sales in the United States have doubled in the last two
years, aided by growth at Rochester and the Kensington mine in
Alaska. Together with Mexico, the United States could account
for more than 80 percent of Coeur's metal sales this year, Krebs
said on the call.
Coeur also operates mines in Argentina and Australia.