First Quantum misses analyst estimates; Q3 revenue flat and profit down, not up

VANCOUVER – First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM) third-quarter revenue was virtually flat and its profit was down from a year ago, rather than going up as many analysts had anticipated.

The Vancouver-based copper and nickel producer says its revenue slipped about $200,000 to US$885.2 million while net income dropped to US$121.2 million or 21 cents per basic share (20 cents diluted) from $143 million (24 cents per share).

Adjusted profit, which First Quantum calls comparative earnings, was 23 cents per share — down from 24 cents a year earlier.

Analysts had expected First Quantum’s adjusted earnings would rise to 26 cents US per share and its revenue would go up to $998 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.

First Quantum says output of copper and nickel was down from the 2013 third quarter because of lower ore grades and a temporary shutdown but revenue from sales was helped by a 31 per cent increase in the price it received for nickel.

The company also said that the lack of local smelting availability in Zambia had been a factor for its Kansanshi mining operation but constraints would ease when a new smelter begins operation in 2015.