Stillwater Q4 profits down; platinum group miner cites higher costs, lower prices

BILLINGS, Mont. – Stillwater Mining Co. (TSX:SWC.U) is reporting a significant drop in both fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, with the platinum group metals producer citing high production costs and lower prices.

Montana-based Stillwater says consolidated net income attributable to common stockholders was US$16.9 million or 13 cents per diluted share in the three months ended Dec. 31.

That was down from US$24.7 million or 21 cents per share in the same 2011 quarter.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $203.4 million, down from $259.7 million a year ago.

For the full-year, earnings attributable to common shareholders fell to US$55 million or 46 cents per diluted share on revenues of US$800.2 million. That was down from US$144.3 million or $1.30 per diluted share on revenues of $906 million in 2011.

Average prices realized for mined ounces of palladium were US$641 in 2012, compared with US$739 in 2011, and for platinum were $1,551 in 2012 compared with $1,705 in 2011.

Of the US$800.2 million of revenues recorded in 2012, $455.4 million was attributable to sales from mine production and $344.8 million was generated by the company’s recycling activities.

Comparable revenues for 2011 of US$906 million included $528 million from mine production, $376.8 million from recycling and $1.1 million from the resale of purchased metal.