Wheaton Precious Metals Reports Dip In Profit, Dividend
Streaming company Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (TSX, NYSE: WPM) late Thursday reported a smaller profit in the third quarter than a year ago due to lower prices and sales, and the company also trimmed its quarterly dividend by a penny.
Wheaton, which gets a portion of producers’ metal output in return for up fronting money typically used to develop projects, listed July-September net earnings of $67 million, or 15 cents per share. This is down from $83 million, or 19 cents, in the same period a year ago.
Revenue fell to $203 million in the third quarter from $233 million a year ago. The company blamed the decline on 6% fewer silver ounces sold and 3% fewer gold ounces sold, as well as a 14% decrease in the average realized silver price to $16.87 an ounce and a 4% decrease in the average gold price to $1,283.
The company trimmed its dividend to 9 cents per share after it had risen to 10 cents in conjunction with its second-quarter earnings release. The next dividend will be paid around Dec. 7 to shareholders of records as of Nov. 27. The amount is based on a formula tied to the average cash generated by operating activities over the previous four quarters, divided by the then-outstanding shares and rounded to the nearest penny.
During the July-September period, production was 7.6 million ounces of silver and 95,900 ounces of gold, representing a decrease of 1% and 15%, respectively, from a year ago. Mines with notable year-on-year changes in production for Wheaton include Salobo, 7% higher gold output; Peñasquito,10% more silver; Antamina, 18% more silver; San Dimas, 17% less silver; Sudbury, 22% less gold; and Constancia, decreases of 18% and 33%, respectively, in silver and gold.
The company reported some metal produced but not yet delivered as of the Sept. 30 end of the quarter. This included 5.3 million silver ounces and 57,200 gold ounces, representing an increase of 1.1 million silver ounces and 8,200 gold ounces during the quarter.
Randy Smallwood, president and chief executive officer, said the company remains on track to achieve 2017 production guidance. Wheaton Precious Metals' estimated production for the full year is forecast to be 28 million silver ounces and 340,000 gold ounces. Estimated average annual silver and gold production over the next five years, including 2017, is projected at approximately 29 million silver ounces and 340,000 gold ounces per year.
"We continue to work diligently not only to strengthen our current portfolio…but also to pursue additional accretive opportunities," Smallwood said.