* EPS $0.43 vs $0.31 a year-ago, forecast $0.47
* Revenue up 24 percent at $191.1 million
* Sees 2011 silver production 23-24 mln ounces
* Shares down 5.67 percent at C$34.27
(Recasts, adds analyst comment; in U.S. dollars unless noted)
By Julie Gordon
TORONTO, Feb 16 Shares of Pan American Silver
PAA.TO fell more than 7 percent on Wednesday, after the miner
posted sharply higher quarterly earnings but missed analyst
profit expectations and forecast lower gold and silver
production levels next year.
The Vancouver-based company said it plans to produce
between 23 million and 24 million ounces of silver in 2011,
down from 24.3 million ounces in 2010.
It also expects to produce 76,000 to 78,000 ounces of gold
in 2011, down from the 89,555 ounces last year.
Pan American shares were down C$2.06 to C$34.27 Wednesday
morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange, after tumbling as much
as 7.3 percent to C$33.69.
The company, which operates in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and
Argentina, posted a net income of $46.4 million, or 43 cents a
share, in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31.
That was up 67 percent from earnings of $27.8 million, or
31 cents a share, a year earlier.
However, the results fell short of analysts' average
estimate for a profit of 47 cents a share, according to Thomson
Revenue was up 24 percent at $191.1 million.
Pan American benefited from stronger spot silver prices,
which nearly doubled through 2010, rising from $16.86 to
$30.86, as investors turned to precious metals as a safe haven
from economic uncertainty.
The company added 27 million ounces of silver to its
reserves in 2010, and has budgeted about $39 million for
exploration in 2011.
"Current reserves are sufficient to sustain current
production levels for about 10 years," UBS mining analyst Chris
Lichtenheldt said in a note to clients.
He added that the Navidad project in Argentina will expand
the company's production profile, but that development is
dependent on the state of Chubut changing its law to allow open
Pan American also said that it would pay a dividend of 2.5
cents a share for the quarter.
(Additional reporting by Isheeta Sanghi; editing by Rob