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Kinross Gold (K-T) said on Tuesday its first-quarter profit fell 57 percent, as the gold miner's revenues were hit by one-time, tax-related charges.
The Toronto-based miner said its profit in the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $105.7 million US, or 9 cents a share, down from a year-earlier profit of $250.1 million, or 22 cents a share.
Earnings in the quarter were affected by tax liabilities and a $110.3 million non-cash item related to an income tax rate change in Ghana.
Excluding one-time items, the company reported a profit of $203.1 million, or 18 cents a share, up from $175.3 million, or 15 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2011.
Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 20 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Gold output fell 6 percent in the quarter, while costs per ounce were 36 percent higher. Despite this, revenue rose 11 percent to $1 billion on higher realized gold prices.
The gold miner produced 611,838 gold equivalent ounces in the quarter, compared with 700,479 in the year-earlier period, as output fell across nearly all regions where Kinross operates.
Costs per ounce rose to $742, compared with $545 in the first quarter of 2011. The average realized sales price rose 24 percent to $1,644 per ounce.
Kinross, which owns mines in North and South America, Russia and Africa, maintained its forecast of 2.6 million to 2.8 million gold equivalent ounces in 2012.
The company noted that mining activity at the Tasiast mine in Mauritania is accelerating and that an expansion at the project is on plan.
The miner also said negotiations are ongoing with Ecuador over the Fruta del Norte development project. The company is hoping to rework its deal with Andean nation, under which it would pay roughly half its income, after production costs, in taxes and royalties.
Shares of Kinross are down more than 34 percent this year. The stock has come under pressure in recent months, after the miner booked a massive $2.94 billion non-cash goodwill impairment charge in February related to its acquisition of the Tasiast and Chirano mines.
Kinross acquired the West African gold mines through its $7.1 billion takeover of Red Back Mining in 2010.