Sell it short if you can. Massive losses. Never holds gains. Scam company. Never made a profit in almost 30 years.
From Ameritrade news:
"Molycorp's first-quarter loss widened sharply as languid prices for the mining company's rare-earth products and the high cost of production weighed on results."
Molycorp Inc.'s (MCP) first-quarter loss widened sharply as languid prices for the mining company's rare-earth products and the high cost of production weighed on results.
Results exceeded Street expectations, however, as revenue jumped. Shares rose 7.6% after hours to $6.02. Through the close, the stock was down 41% since the start of the year.
Molycorp's earnings continue to be pressured by weak prices for the rare-earth products it sells for use in high-tech gadgets. Chief Executive Constantine Karayannopoulos, who was tapped to lead the company last year, told Dow Jones Newswires on Thursday that prices remained roughly steady in the first quarter, but since have fallen around 12% on average since late 2012.
The CEO attributed the price drop largely to the resumption of smuggling activities on the southern border of China following a break for the Lunar New Year holiday, as illicit low-cost mining operations hawk their products at prices that benefit from a lack of environmental costs and regulatory expenses. The Chinese government has pledged to crack down on the illegal production and trade.
Molycorp has seen strong top-line growth, thanks in part to last year's acquisition of Neo Material Technologies, a deal made to create a fully integrated mining and production firm in the West.
Mr. Karayannopoulos said that demand has shown signs of picking up from cyclical lows, on a broad basis.
"We're going through the planning process for the year" with the Japanese companies that make up the bulk of Molycorp's customers, said Mr. Karayannopoulos, "and we're starting to see optimism that demand is coming back."
He said the company expects "a spotty improvement" in the second quarter, and material improvement in the second half.
Molycorp has been hit by accumulating costs in its efforts to modernize and expand its Mountain Pass facility in California. The facility isn't expected to reach full-scale commercial production until the middle of the year. The CEO said that full production may be delayed if prices don't support it, or if the company's Chlor-Alkali wastewater facility isn't yet online. The plant, expected to be up in August or September and fully operational by the fourth quarter, is expected to contribute to substantial cost savings.
Overall, Molycorp reported a first-quarter loss of $47.2 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $3.5 million, or seven cents a share, a year earlier. The latest quarter included inventory write-downs of $37.2 million, while the year-earlier period included due diligence expenses, inventory write-downs and other costs. Excluding these impacts, Molycorp reported an adjusted loss of 15 cents, compared with a year-earlier profit of 18 cents.
Revenue jumped 73% to $146.4 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a per-share loss of 27 cents on revenue of $138 million.
Molycorp sold 3,274 metric tons of product across all business segments during the quarter at an average selling price of $44.71 per kilogram, generating a gross loss of $20.5 million. The average selling price was a modest improvement over $43.38 in the fourth quarter.
Input costs jumped in the latest period. Operating expenses also grew, reflecting higher impairment costs tied to the Mountain Pass facility and research and development expenses.
The company had $404.8 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of the latest quarter. The company has said it expects to spend up to $450 million this year on capital expenditures, compared with last year's total of $790 million. For the remainder of the year, the cash expenditures are expected to reach $250 million.
The company also expects to spend an additional $80 million on the modernization and expansion of Mountain Pass in 2014.
Molycorp's shares have dropped dramatically since 2011, when many feared that China would restrict its output of rare earth minerals.