Goldcorp shares fall after gold miner cuts production guidance for 2012

VANCOUVER – Shares of Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) fell 10 per cent Wednesday after the company cut its 2012 production guidance due to problems at its Red Lake mine in Ontario and Penasquito mine in Mexico.

The stock closed down $3.83 at $33.80 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, a day after the company said it expected gold production of between 2.35 and 2.45 million ounces for the year, down from an earlier estimate of 2.6 million ounces.

Due to the lower expected production, the company also revised its total cash cost guidance from US$310 to US$340 per ounce of gold on a byproduct basis, up from $250 to $275 per ounce.

Scotiabank analyst Tanya Jakusconek cut the bank’s target price on Goldcorp to $55 from $58.50 on the report, but maintained an “outperfom” rating on the stock.

“We do expect the stock to be weak on this news despite the fact that reduction for production at Red Lake was expected. The update on Penasquito was not expected,” she wrote in a note to clients.

Jakusconek noted that the drought problems that led to the shortfall at Penasquito would likely only impact 2012 production.

“While the company does hold permits for sufficient water supply, it is currently working to drill additional wells to increase water production. G is also hoping to increase the quantity of water reclaimed from the tailings facility,” she added.

In addition to the lower gold production, Goldcorp also cut its guidance for several of its byproduct metals.

For 2012, it forecast 30 million to 31 million ounces of silver compared with previous guidance of 34 million ounces.

Zinc production was expected to total about 310 million to 325 million pounds, while lead production is forecast at 155 million to 160 million pounds. That is down from earlier guidance of 400 million pounds and 180 million pounds respectively.

Production guidance for copper was unchanged at 110 million pounds.

The company has mines as well as exploration and development projects in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina.