Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cameco Q1 earnings slip 38%

Cameco Q1 earnings slip 38%Cameco 3-month TSX chart

Cameco Corp. said Friday its first-quarter earnings tumbled by 38 per cent on lower results from its uranium and gold mining operations.

The Saskatoon-based company told investors it made $82 million, or 22 cents a share, down from $133 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.

Overall revenues for the quarter increased to $615 million from $593 million year-over-year.

"Operationally, we are off to a much better start to the year and have set high expectations for 2009," Cameco's president and CEO, Jerry Grandey, said in a written statement.

"We are also pleased that we have reached an agreement that provides a secure environment for Centerra's continued operation and potential growth in Kyrgyzstan while facilitating our eventual divestiture."

The firm, which is the top uranium mining company in the world, said higher costs of sales adversely affected its uranium profits in the first quarter.

Cameco said its uranium operations produced gross profit of $116 million on revenue of $336 million, compared with a profit of $169 million on revenue of $338 million in the same period of the previous year.

On its power-generation operations, Cameco's pre-tax earnings from its 31.6 per cent stake in Bruce Power Limited Partnership were $44 million, up from $6 million in the same period of 2008. This increase in 2009 was a result of improved generation and revenue, and lower costs because there were no planned outages during the quarter.

Cameco owns roughly 53 per cent of Centerra Gold, which owns two gold mines. For the first quarter of the year, Cameo's gold revenues were $122 million on higher realized gold prices, compared with revenue of $113 million a year earlier.