April 29, 2013 / 9:51 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Newmont profit down as shipments, prices fall

* Q1 EPS $0.63 vs $0.97 year earlier

* Sales fall to $2.18 billion from $2.68 billion

* Costs rise; nudges capital spending forecast lower

April 29 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp, the largest U.S.-based gold miner, reported a sharper-than-expected drop in first-quarter profit on Monday, as gold and copper shipments fell more than 10 percent and realized prices for the metals slid.

Consolidated all-in costs rose 7 percent to $1,086 an ounce in the quarter, mainly due to lower gold and copper production, and the company said it still expects the metric to come in between $1,100 and $1,200 an ounce in 2013.

Newmont also cut its planned capital spending by $100 million, to between $2.0 billion and $2.2 billion for 2013.

Under the leadership of its new chief executive, Gary Goldberg, Newmont has pledged to reduce production costs and proceed with only the most promising opportunities in its portfolio. It is a vow many gold miners have made in recent quarters, as rising costs cut into their profits.

The miners are facing lower prices as well - spot gold slipped into a bear market earlier this month, dropping below $1,400 per ounce for the first time in two years. Spot gold was at $1,476.20 an ounce on Monday.

Net income attributable to Newmont’s common shareholders fell to $315 million, or 63 cents a share, from $490 million, or 97 cents, a year earlier.

Excluding a restructuring charge and other unusual items, earnings fell to $354 million, or 71 cents a share, from $578 million, or $1.15. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 77 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell to $2.18 billion from $2.68 billion, compared with the consensus estimate of $2.25 billion.

Newmont’s shares slipped 1.4 percent to $33.50 in aftermarket trade in New York.

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