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Newmont adjusted profit down on gold price, but beats estimates

(Adds details on earnings, outlook for 2015 to 2017)

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp, the U.S.'s largest gold producer, reported on Thursday a narrower adjusted fourth quarter profit, though earnings were stronger than expected.

Adjusted net income, which excludes one-time items like non-cash write downs, was $86 million, or 17 cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $143 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

That was better than forecasts, as analysts on average, called for the Denver, Colorado-based miner to report earnings of 10 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to shareholders was $39 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.2 billion, or $2.39 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013, when the company posted steep impairment charges.

Revenue slipped to $2 billion, down from $2.2 billion, as both gold prices and production fell.

But all-in sustaining costs for producing an ounce of gold were better-than-forecast at $927 an ounce in the quarter, down from $1,043 per ounce in the prior quarter.

Bullion production, meanwhile, slipped 13 percent to 1.26 million ounces from 1.45 million ounces, due mainly to divestments. Copper production rose to 28,700 tonnes in the quarter, compared with 21,600 tonnes in the year-ago period.

Full-year gold output was 4.85 million ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $1,002 per ounce.

Looking ahead to 2015, Newmont forecast attributable gold production of 4.6 million to 4.9 million ounces, at all-in sustaining cost between $960 and $1,020 per ounce.

The miner also said it expects its gold output to reach 4.7 to 5.1 million ounces in 2017, as new production at Merian in Suriname and higher grades in Nevada and Indonesia offset lower grades at Peru's Yanacocha and Ahafo in Ghana.

The price Newmont received for its gold dropped 6 percent to $1,194 an ounce from $1,267 an ounce in the fourth quarter of last year, while it's realized copper price fell 14 percent to $2.55.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant and Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Bernard Orr)