U.S. Markets closed

Molycorp 1st-quarter loss widens

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) -- Molycorp Inc.'s shares rose in after-hours trading Thursday after its first-quarter results came in ahead of market expectations.

The company, based in Greenwood Village, Colo., mines and processes rare earth products.

Molycorp posted a loss of $47.2 million, or 33 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That's compared with a loss of $3.5 million, or 7 cents per share, for the prior year. Excluding inventory write-downs and other items, the company posted an adjusted loss of 15 cents per share, versus an adjusted profit of 18 cents per share last year.

Its revenue increased 9 percent to $146.4 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating a loss of 31 cents per share on revenue of $135.6 million.

Molycorp reiterated that it expects its financial performance in the first half of the year will be weaker than in the second half. This is because rare earth sales typically slow in the first quarter and its Molycorp Mountain Pass facility will not likely achieve full-scale commercial production until the middle of the year.

Constantine Karayannopoulos, Molycorp's president and CEO, also said the company is seeing signs that demand will return to more normal levels as the year progresses.

Shares jumped 40 cents, or more than 7 percent, to $5.99 in after-hours trading. Its stock fell 7 cents to close regular trading at $5.59.