(Reuters) - Newmont Goldcorp , the world’s biggest gold miner, reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday, as a boost in gold production and lower costs countered lagging gold prices.
At a time when easy-to-find gold reserves are dwindling, Newmont shored up its production pipeline through the $10 billion acquisition of Goldcorp Inc, which closed last week.
Newmont Goldcorp did not provide a production outlook or costs for the combined company for this year. It reiterated its outlook for only Newmont, saying all-in sustaining costs will be $935 per ounce, rising from $909 last year, while production will rise marginally to 5.2 million ounces, from 5.1 million last year.
Chief Executive Gary Goldberg said on an analyst call the combined company is targeting production of 6 million to 7 million ounces of gold annually.
In the three months ended March 31, gold production rose nearly 2 percent to 1.23 million ounces from a year earlier, while the average realized gold price fell by $26 to $1,300 per ounce.
All-in sustaining costs fell to $907 per ounce from $943.
Newmont shares were 0.1 percent lower at $32.18 in morning trading in New York on Thursday, compared with a 0.9 percent gain in the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index.
Net income adjusted for costs related to the Goldcorp deal and the creation of a joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp fell to $176 million, or 33 cents per share, for the quarter, from $185 million, or 35 cents per share, in the same period last year.
Total sales fell to $1.80 billion from $1.81 billion.
Analysts’ on average had estimated profit of 27 cents per share on revenue of $1.83 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Newmont said it would pay a dividend of 14 cents per share for the quarter.
Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto Nishara Karuvalli Pathikkal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr