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Barrick (GOLD) Announces Q1 Preliminary Production Results

Barrick Gold Corporation GOLD recently reported preliminary results for the first quarter of 2021.

The company also stated that it is on track to achieve its 2021 production guidance. The preliminary results for the first quarter reflect sales of 1.09 million ounces of gold and 113 million pounds of copper for the quarter. The company also reported preliminary first-quarter production for gold and copper at 1.1 million ounces as well as 93 million pounds, respectively. The average market price for gold in the first quarter was $1,794 per ounce, while for copper it was $3.86 per pound.

As projected, the preliminary Q1 gold production was lower than prior quarter levels owing to mine sequencing at Carlin and Cortez as well as lower grades at Pueblo Viejo. Lower grades and production from Tongon, were offset by higher grades at Loulo-Gounkoto.

Barrick projects gold production in the second half of 2021 to be higher than the first half. Accordingly, first-quarter 2021 gold cost of sales per ounce is expected to be modestly higher, total cash costs per ounce are expected to be 2-4% higher and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce are expected to be 8-10% higher than the previous quarter.

Barrick’s preliminary first-quarter copper production was 22% lower than the prior quarter. Copper sales were 5% higher due to Lumwana’s sell of a portion of its stockpiled concentrate. It is expected that copper production in the second half of 2021 will be stronger than first half, primarily driven by higher grades from Lumwana.

Barrick expects first-quarter cost of sales per pound for copper to be 1-3% higher than the fourth quarter of 2020 and AISC per pound for copper to be 6-8% lower than the prior quarter due to higher sales. C1 cash cost per pound is expected to be in line with the prior quarter.

Notably, Barrick is scheduled to report first-quarter 2021 results on May 5, before the opening bell.

Shares of Barrick have declined 10.8% in the past year compared with 6.2% rise of the industry.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Barrick currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Fortescue Metals Group Limited FSUGY, Nucor Corporation NUE and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited IMPUY.

Fortescue has a projected earnings growth rate of roughly 105% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have surged 127.4% in a year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Nucor has an expected earnings growth rate of around 171% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have gained 117.7% in the past year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Impala has an expected earnings growth rate of 197.6% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have skyrocketed 239.8% in the past year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

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