Hecla Mining Co.'s third-quarter profit soared as higher prices and a big gain on derivatives trading offset lower silver production, but the silver producer missed analyst estimates by a penny.
The Idaho-based company also declared its first quarterly silver price-linked dividend.
Net income jumped to $55.8 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to $16.4 million, or six cents per share, in last year's third quarter.
Excluding one-time items, Hecla earned $35.4 million, or 13 cents per share, up from $20.7 million, or eight cents per share, in the comparable 2010 quarter.
Analysts expected 14 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
There were a higher number of shares outstanding in the recently completed quarter compared to the third quarter of 2010.
Hecla booked a $40.4 million gain on base metal derivative contracts for the third quarter, compared to a $13.2 million loss for the same period in 2010.
Revenue rose to $120.54 million from $115.85 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Hecla's silver production fell to 2.29 million ounces from 2.71 million ounces, but realized silver prices rose 73 percent from the previous third quarter.
The newly declared dividend is two cents per share of common stock, for a total amount of about $5.6 million, based on an average realized silver price of $37.02 in the third quarter 2011.
Hecla backed its previous forecast for 2011 silver production of nine to 10 million ounces.
Hecla's financial position and asset base is the strongest it's been in its history after a unique third quarter generating the highest net income and cash position, said CEO Phillips S. Baker Jr. From this quarter, we are poised to grow production 50 percent over the next five years.
Shares rose 11 cents to $6.86 in midday trading.