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Yamana Gold reports 4Q profit, hikes dividend

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX: YRI; NYSE: AUY) late Thursday reported a profit for the fourth quarter and hiked its dividend again.

Fourth-quarter adjusted net earnings were listed at $26.7 million, or 3 cents per share, comparable to $26.2 million, also 3 cents, a year earlier. BMO Capital Markets reported that this was in line with analysts’ expectations.

Net earnings were $14.6 million, or 2 cents, a turnaround from a net loss of $61.4 million, or 6 cents, in the same period a year ago.

Yamana reported that its annual dividend will rise by 25% to 5 cents per share, effective in the first quarter. This comes after the annual dividend doubled in the third quarter to 4 cents per share. The first-quarter dividend of $0.0125 per share will be paid around April 14 to shareholders of record as of March 31.

Yamana’s fourth-quarter gold and silver production were 221,595 ounces and 2.97 million ounces, respectively, which the company said was in line with plan. For the full-year, Yamana slightly exceeded gold-production guidance with 900,339 ounces and exceeded silver-production guidance with 10.6 million ounces.

“We significantly strengthened our balance sheet by lowering debt and increasing free cash flow,” said Daniel Racine, president and chief executive officer. “Our operations executed extremely well, with Jacobina posting record fourth-quarter and full-year production and El Peñón enjoying its strongest quarter since we rightsized the operation three years ago.”

The company said it decreased net debt by $59.8 million in the fourth quarter as a result of an increase in free cash flow.  Net debt fell by $771.1 million last year to $889.1 million.

When excluding production from the Chapada mine that was sold in 2019, Yamana’s 2019 gold production was 848,000 ounces. The company projected gold output will rise to 857,000 ounces this year, 873,000 in 2021 and 885,000 in 2022. Silver-output guidance was listed at 11.5 million ounces for this year, then 11 million and 10 million the next two years.

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