U.S. stocks fell as oil and gold prices rose higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index both fell 1.3% to 17,773.64 and 2,065.30. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.6% to 4,775.36. Spot gold rose 4.9% to US$1,292.40 per oz., while the June contract for crude oil gained 5% to settle at US$45.92 per barrel.
Minas Buenaventura jumped nearly 21% to US$10.15 per share on strong first-quarter earnings of US$51.6 million, or US20¢ per share, up 198% from the US7¢ per share earned a year ago. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from direct operations increased 34% to US$60.3 million. Total attributable production was 158,000 oz. gold and 6.2 million oz. silver, compared to 187,000 oz. gold and 5.5 million oz. silver. Despite the 16% drop in gold production, all-in sustaining costs fell 35% to US$728 per oz., reflecting Buenaventura’s cost-reduction efforts.
Barrick Gold shares rose 20% to US$19.37. On April 26, the world’s largest gold producer reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of US$127 million, or US11¢ per share, which is up from US5¢ per share a year ago. Net loss for the first quarter was US$83 million, compared to a US$57-million profit a year ago. Barrick made US$181 million in free cash flow for its fourth straight quarter, as it focused on mining low-cost ounces. Production totalled 1.28 million oz. at all-in sustaining costs (AISCs) of US$706 per oz., down from 1.39 million oz. produced at AISCs of US$927 per oz. in the earlier year. The miner lowered its total debt in the first quarter by US$842 million and remains on track to hit its 2016 debt-reduction target of US$2 billion.
Uranium miner Cameco fell 4.5% to US$12.15 per share on weak first-quarter results. It reported a $7-million adjusted loss, or 2¢ per share, compared to last year’s $69-million profit at 18¢ per share. The change came from lower gross profits from Cameco’s uranium and Nukem segments, higher administrative costs and higher foreign exchange losses. However, net earnings for the first quarter were $78 million, compared to a $9-million net loss. Quarterly revenue fell 28% to $408 million and gross profit dropped 8.5% to $129 million.