Newmont Mining Corp. on Thursday posted a fivefold surge in first-quarter profit after the company benefited from surging gold prices and reduced costs; while its CEO warned the price of gold could reach $1,100 an ounce in 2009.
Shares of Newmont, one of the biggest gold miners in the world, lost 85 cents, or 1.9 percent to finish at $43.
The Denver-based company reported a profit of $370 million, or 81 cents a share, up from $68 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue rose to $1.94 billion from $1.22 billion.
Analysts at FactSet Research had estimated a profit, on average, of 52 cents a share on revenue of $1.66 billion.
Chief Executive Richard O'Brien, who took over last July, said the results, said the results easily beat Wall Street estimates, and proved his strategy will turn around the company's performance by minimizing costs.
Our position as the largest unhedged gold company has benefited our shareholders as we realized 100 percent of the gold price appreciation, he told analysts on a conference call.
O'Brien also cited a series of bullish factors for gold including lower mining output, strong jewelry demand, inflation and the dollar weakness.
I'm going to say gold is going to be in the $1,000 to $1,100 range next year, O'Brien said in an interview on CNBC television.
Gold has declined 14 percent since bullion hit a record high of $1,030.80 an ounce on March 17. Gold futures for June delivery dropped $19.60 to end at $889.40 an ounce on Thursday.
Newmont said its average gold price increased more than 40 percent from $653 per ounce a year ago.