TORONTO Feb 21 Canada's Inmet Mining Corp
, the target of a hostile takeover bid by First Quantum
Minerals Ltd, reported a 17 percent drop in quarterly
profit on Thursday as foreign exchange losses and other costs
offset stronger operating results.
Earnings from operations rose 26 percent in the fourth
quarter to $112.4 million, boosted by results at the company's
Las Cruces mine in Spain, which compensated for lower earnings
at its Cayeli mine in Turkey.
A successful takeover would give First Quantum control of
the massive Cobre Panama project. Inmet holds 80 percent of the
deposit in Panama, expected to produce an average of 266,000
tonnes of copper annually over a 30-plus year mine life.
Cobre Panama, which will also produce sizable volumes of
gold, molybdenum and silver, is about 9 percent through
construction, slightly behind schedule.
Earlier this week Inmet waived its so-called poison pill
takeover defense, saying that it has enough time to review First
Quantum's C$5.1 billion ($5.01 billion) bid, and potentially
execute strategic alternatives.
Before the results, Inmet's shares closed down 2.4 percent
at C$66.93 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, below First Quantum's
In the fourth quarter, the base metal miner's revenue rose
11 percent to $259.9 million on higher copper and zinc sales.
Earnings attributable to shareholders dropped to $38.8
million, or 56 cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. That
compared with $46.5 million, of 67 cents, in the year-ago
After-tax foreign exchange losses were $19 million, or 27
cents a share, the result of U.S. dollar cash holdings. The
company said it plans to use those holdings to build Cobre
Results were also held back by general and administrative
costs, which nearly doubled, as well as higher investment
expenses and tax costs.