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AuRico Gold shares fall on weaker production

The Associated Press

AuRico Gold Inc.'s shares fell Tuesday after the gold company reported weaker gold production for its fourth quarter and issued a modest production forecast for the year.

THE SPARK: The Toronto-based company reported after the market closed Monday that its gold ounces produced fell to 40.7 million for the fourth quarter from 72.1 million in the prior year.

AuRico lost $25.4 million, or 9 cents per share, for the period that ended Dec. 31. A year ago, it reported net income of $77.9 million, or 31 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. After adjusting for a $127 million goodwill charge related to its El Chanate mine and other special items, it earned 22 cents per share in the latest period and 5 cents per share when looking solely at continuing operations. Analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to earn 5 cents per share.

AuRico said it expects its gold production for 2013 will come in between 190 and 220 million ounces. That is lower than the 250.5 million it produced in 2012.

THE BIG PICTURE: AuRico Gold said in November that gold production for the rest of the year would suffer following a mining accident at its El Chanate mine in Mexico that killed two miners. The company has been looking to a newer mine in northern Ontario, the Young-Davidson mine, for increased production.

SHARE ACTION: Shares fell 49 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $6.15 in afternoon trading. Its stock is nearing the low end of its 52-week trading range of $5.25 to $9.50.