Feb 20 (Reuters) – Surging gold prices propelled miners Newmont Corp and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd to beat estimates for quarterly profit on Thursday as industry consolidation began to bear fruit for long-suffering shareholders.
Gold prices marked their best annual increase since 2010 last year and are currently above $1,600 per ounce, as concerns over global economic health, low interest rates and geopolitical tensions triggered investor interest in safer assets.
Newmont, Kirkland and others have snapped up rivals in a flurry of deals to replace reserves and lower costs, and are now rewarding investors by hiking payouts and buying back shares.
“That’s what’s going to bring people back to the space,” said Maria Smirnova, portfolio manager at precious metals-focused fund manager Sprott Inc. “We need to show people that mining companies can make money, and not just destroy capital.”
Kirkland Lake, fresh from acquiring rival Detour Gold, said on Thursday it would double its annual dividend to $0.50 per share and repurchase 20 million of its common shares over two years as it steps up exploration.
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