Silver Wheaton Corp. said Friday its fourth-quarter profit rose 20 percent on higher sales volumes and higher silver and gold prices.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, Silver Wheaton said earnings climbed to $144.7 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with adjusted earnings of $120.7 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 28 percent to $191.9 million from $149.6 million a year ago. The Vancouver company generates revenue under contracts with producing miners rather than by producing metals like silver itself.
Silver Wheaton, the world's largest silver streaming company, said it booked a record volume of attributable silver-equivalent production of 6.9 million ounces, comprised of 6.7 million ounces of silver and 3,900 ounces of gold. That was a 12 percent increase over the fourth quarter 2010 volume.
The company said the results were its strongest, in terms of production and sales.
Cash costs in the period was $4.06 per ounce, compared with $4.02 per ounce a year earlier.
For all of 2011, Silver Wheaton said earnings jumped 92 percent to $550 million, or $1.56 per share, compared with adjusted earnings of $286.6 million, or 83 cents per share, in 2010.
Revenue for the year climbed 72 percent to $730 million from $423 million in 2010. Silver Wheaton attributed the revenue gain to a 67 percent increase from a year earlier in silver prices and a 31 percent increase in gold prices.
Silver Wheaton booked a record volume of attributable silver equivalent production in all of 2011 of 25.4 million ounces, comprised of 24.6 million ounces of silver and 18,400 ounces of gold, a 7 percent increase over the volume for all of 2010.
Cash costs in 2011 was $4.09 per ounce, compared with $4.04 per ounce in 2010.
The combination of increased silver-equivalent sales and strong silver prices also generated record financial results including revenue, earnings, operating cash flows, and cash operating margins which increased a tremendous 82 percent to $30.61 per ounce of silver, CEO Randy Smallwood, said in a statement.
The company said in 2012 it expects a 6 percent increase in its attributable production, to about 27 million silver-equivalent ounces, including 16,500 ounces of gold.
Meanwhile, Goldcorp Inc.'s Peñasquito mine is forecast to achieve full production capacity of 130,000 metric tons per day by the end of first quarter 2012. Goldcorp, which is also based in Vancouver, is one of several partnership miners for Silver Wheaton.
This cornerstone asset is poised to become our largest contributor of silver and will drive our production growth in 2012, Silver Wheaton said in a statement.
Shares of Silver Wheaton rose $2.12, or 6.6 percent, to $33.08 in afternoon trading in New York. Goldcorp rose $1, or 2.3 percent, to $44.82.