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Barrick, Goldcorp increase production, cut costs in third-quarter
There was a funny sound that hasn’t been heard in several years on Barrick Gold Corp.’s latest earnings conference call: optimism.
Battered by one of the worst bear markets ever for metals, the Toronto-based gold giant reported a second straight quarter of positive cash flow and that it’s well on the way to meeting its massive debt reduction target of $3 billion (U.S.) this year.
“We’re getting Barrick back into a position of financial strength,” said company president Kelvin Dushnisky, who was audibly more upbeat on a call with analysts Thursday. “We’ve really started to deliver,” he said.
Both Barrick and U.S. bullion giant Newmont Mining Corp. reported earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after both companies produced more gold than expected in the third quarter, helping mitigate a prolonged slide in the price of bullion.
While Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc., the largest producer by market value, posted a surprise loss on financial items, its third-quarter output and costs were better than analysts’ projections.
Gold miners are fighting to gain back investors’ confidence with prices of the metal headed for a third straight annual decline. Barrick shares jumped 7 per cent by mid-day on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
“It looks like the super tanker is finally turning around,” said veteran analyst John Ing of Maison Placements Canada Inc. “Everybody was skeptical about whether they could pull off that debt reduction, but they’re showing they’re walking the talk,” he said.
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