February 27, 2009 / 4:38 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Coeur d'Alene increasing gold, silver production

* Q4 earnings per share $0.01

* Sees 2009 silver production up 66 pct, gold up 85 pct

* Stock rises 11.4 pct

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Coeur D’Alene Mines Corp (CDE.N) said on Friday that fourth-quarter profit fell as precious metal prices were lower, but it said it would produce more gold and silver in 2009 at expected higher prices.

The earnings were better than Wall Street estimates and, combined with the increased production estimates, Coeur’s stock rose 11.4 percent to 78 cents per share on the New York Stock Exchange in morning trading.

Net income was $4.3 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with $14.3 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2007, said the mining company based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Revenue fell to $42.4 million from $59.9 million.

Analysts on average were expecting a fourth-quarter loss of 1 cent per share and revenue of $50.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Coeur said that although silver production rose 28 percent to 4 million ounces in the 2008 quarter, with a boost in production from its new San Bartolome mine in Bolivia, there was a 38 percent decrease in the average realized silver price from the 2007 quarter.

The average realized price of gold in the fourth quarter was $726 per ounce, which was 18 percent lower than $886 in the third quarter, it said.

However, it noted silver and gold market prices are on the rise now, driven by demand for safe-haven investments in the global economic downturn. Gold was selling in New York for $950 per ounce on Friday and silver was at $13.29 per ounce.

Coeur d’Alene said 2009 silver production is expected to rise 66 percent to 20 million ounces, with gold production increasing by 85 percent to approximately 85,000 ounces.

Operations at its new Palmarejo silver and gold mine in Mexico are expected to begin in March, it said, and San Bartolome is entering its first full year of production.

Reporting by Steve James, editing by Dave Zimmerman

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