SASKATOON – Uranium miner Cameco (TSX:CCO) reported Thursday a an increase in its second-quarter profit compared with a year ago, helped by increased sales volumes and higher realized prices.
The company said it earned $127 million or 32 cents per diluted share, up from $34 million or nine cents per share a year ago.
Revenue improved to $502 million compared with $421 million in the second quarter of 2013.
On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned $79 million or 20 cents per diluted share, up from $61 million or 15 cents per diluted share a year ago.
Cameco sold 7.4 million pounds of uranium in the quarter as production totalled 4.0 million pounds. That compared with 6.4 million pounds sold and 4.4 million pounds produced in the same quarter last year.
The average realized price was $50.76 per pound, up from $47.35 per pounds a year ago, helped by a weaker Canadian dollar.
In its outlook for the year, Cameco lowered its estimate for uranium production to 22.8 million to 23.3 million pounds compared with an earlier forecast for 23.8 million to 24.3 million pounds.
The reduction followed the stoppage of some work at its Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan after discovering that ground freezing used to prevent water from entering the mine had not advanced as quickly as expected in some areas.
The delay means ore that was expected to be milled at the end of the year will shift into early 2015.
Cameco also cut its sales outlook for its Nukem operation to be in the range of seven million to nine million pounds compared with earlier guidance for nine million to 11 million pounds due to on going weakness in the uranium market.
The company raised its capital spending estimate to $550 million, from $495 million, due to increased costs at its Key Lake operation and the shift in the production schedule at Cigar Lake.