* Q4 EPS $0.44 vs year-earlier profit of $0.09
* Q4 Adj EPS $0.57 vs year-earlier EPS of $0.25
* Raises full-yr dividend payout by 11 pct
* Shares up more than 2 pct after the bell
(Adds analysts' view, details; in U.S. dollars unless noted)
By Euan Rocha
TORONTO, Feb 24 Goldcorp (G.TO) reported better
than expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, as profits surged
due to higher gold and silver prices and increased bullion
production, sending its shares up more than 2 percent in
Vancouver-based Goldcorp, the world's second largest gold
miner by market capitalization, also raised its full year
dividend payout by 11 percent to 40 cents a share and outlined
plans to develop two major gold projects in Canada.
Goldcorp said net income in the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose
to $331.8 million, or 44 cents a share, from a year-earlier
profit of $66.7 million, or 9 cents a share.
Excluding one-time items, earnings rose to $417.1 million,
or 57 cents a share, from $182.7 million, or 25 cents a share.
Analysts on average had forecast earnings of 47 cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Quarterly revenue rose 70 percent to $1.32 billion.
Gold sales in the fourth quarter were 678,600 ounces on
production of 689,600 ounces. This compares with sales of
573,100 ounces on production of 601,300 ounces in the fourth
quarter of 2009.
The company said a strong performance at its Red Lake mine
in northern Ontario and the first full quarter of commercial
production at its Penasquito gold-silver mine in Mexico, helped
drive production growth in the quarter.
Goldcorp also said its board has approved the full-scale
development of the Eleonore project in Quebec and the Cochenour
project in Ontario. The two projects are due to come online
toward the end of 2014.
The company, which has more than doubled its output from
the 1.15 million ounces of gold in 2005, expects to produce
between 2.65 million and 2.75 million ounces this year. It sees
production climbing to 4 million ounces by 2015.
Goldcorp has pursued aggressive growth in recent years. In
September it agreed to buy Argentina-focused gold miner Andean
Resources for C$3.6 billion ($3.7 billion), trumping a
competing offer from fellow Canadian Eldorado Gold Corp
Last February, among other acquisitions, Goldcorp bought a
70 percent interest in the El Morro copper-gold project in
north-central Chile for about $513 million, outmaneuvering
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which also tried to buy the asset.
Earlier this month, Goldcorp said that, as of the end of
2010, its proven and probable gold reserves had increased by 23
percent from a year earlier to 60.1 million ounces. Resources
in the measured and indicated category rose 13 percent to 25.7
The company also has one of the largest silver holdings in
the sector, with proven and probable silver reserves of 1.3
billion ounces and measured and indicated silver resources of
457.6 million ounces.
Both gold and silver prices are currently near record
highs, with spot gold at XAU= $1,402.45 an ounce and spot
silver at XAG= $32.15 an ounce.
"We expect a strong precious metals market to remain in
2011 and beyond, driven by central bank buying, growing
physical demand in developing economies around the globe and
gold's continued re-emergence as an essential asset class for
investment portfolios," Chief Executive Chuck Jeannes said in a
Shares of Goldcorp rose more than 2 percent to $46.16 after
the closing bell, following release of the results.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Peter Galloway and Rob