(Reuters) - Gold miner Newmont Corp’s adjusted profit nearly doubled on Tuesday boosted by higher production and a surge in the prices of the precious metal, as investors rushed to the safe-haven asset amid market turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The world’s biggest gold miner said average realized price for gold in the first quarter rose to $1,591 per ounce from $1,300 an ounce last year, while attributable gold production rose 20% to 1.5 million ounce mainly due to new output from the Goldcorp mines that it acquired last year.
Gold prices have risen around 12% this year, as investors shifted their investments to the metal after risk sentiment took a beating due to uncertainties in a coronavirus-hit global economy.
This has helped shares of gold miners to outpace broader stock indexes this year, despite shutting down production due to the virus-led lockdowns across the globe.
S&P/TSX’s Global Gold index, which tracks producers of gold and related products, including companies that mine or process gold globally, has gained about 36% on an average in this quarter, compared to last year.
Newmont’s stock is up about 44% this year as of Monday’s close.
Net income attributable to shareholders rose more than nine fold to $822 million or $1.02 per share in the first-quarter ended March 31, compared to last year, as the company benefited from the sale of some businesses..
Excluding the one-time gains, Newmont’s adjusted profit of $326 million or $0.40 per share, rose around 85% from the prior year quarter but slightly missed analysts estimate of 42 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.
The company said all-in sustaining costs increased around 14% to $1,030 per ounce for the quarter primarily due to higher gold CAS (Gold costs applicable to sales) per ounce, higher sustaining capital spend and care and maintenance costs associated with COVID-19.
Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich