Uranium miner Cameco profit jumps, shares climb


By Rod Nickel

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Uranium miner Cameco Corp reported a sharp rise in quarterly profit on Wednesdaydue to higher uranium sales and prices, sending its shares upnearly 6 percent in early trading.

Cameco, which has contracts with customers at prices abovethe spot market, sold 8.5 million pounds of uranium in the thirdquarter, up from 5.2 million a year earlier. The company'saverage realized price was $50.73 per pound, up from $45.26.

The strong results came despite generally weak uraniumdemand and spot prices since the Japanese earthquake and tsunamiMarch 2011, which crippled the Fukushima-Daiichi atomic powerplant and prompted the shutdown of nearly all of its reactors.

Cameco trimmed its forecast for 2013 uranium production to23.1 million pounds from 23.3 million pounds. It said inSeptember that it would delay the start-up of its high-gradeCigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan until the firstquarter of 2014.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company left its 2013sales forecast unchanged at 31 million to 33 million pounds,including sales of uranium purchased form other miners. Lastyear it sold 32.5 million pounds of uranium.

Net earnings for the third quarter jumped to C$211 million,or 53 Canadian cents per share, from C$79 million, or 20Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue more than doubled to C$597 million.

Adjusted earnings were C$208 million, or 53 Canadian centsper share, up from C$49 million or 12 Canadian cents per share,a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting earnings per share of 17 Canadiancents and revenue of C$564 million.

Shares of Cameco, the world's No. 3 uranium producer, jumpedto $19.21 in New York and C$20.06 in Toronto in early trading

Chief Executive Tim Gitzel said in August that the companywould cut costs by 10 percent to boost profits.

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