Hecla Mining Co. Earnings: After Four Straight Increases, Revenue Drops

Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL) climbed to a profit in the fourth quarter. Hecla Mining is engaged in the discovery, acquisition, development, production and marketing of silver, gold, lead and zinc.

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Hecla Mining Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Reported a profit of $18.6 million (7 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The silver company had a net loss of $9.7 million or a loss of 5 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 23.5% to $102.9 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Hecla Mining Co. reported adjusted net income of 7 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell in line with the mean estimate of 7 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $98.8 million.

Quoting Management: “Hecla faced significant challenges in 2011; however, what is different today than at any other time in our history is that our financial position, asset base, and growth opportunities are the strongest they have ever been,” said Hecla’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Phillips S. Baker, Jr. “In 2011, we had many significant accomplishments: we achieved record revenues and profits; settled the long-standing Coeur d’Alene Basin litigation thereby removing a significant and unquantifiable liability; achieved our silver production guidance; executed a $102 million capital expenditure program; expanded growth opportunities with significant advancement in our three pre-development programs; increased silver reserves and resources for the sixth consecutive year in a row; introduced a new common stock dividend; and we acquired the minority interest in the San Juan Silver property. In addition, we finished the year with $266.5 million of cash and no debt. We did all of these things while dealing with a series of unprecedented and unfortunate, yet unrelated, events at our Lucky Friday mine.”

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter breaks a four-quarter streak of revenue increases. The best quarter in that span was the first quarter, which saw revenue rise 70.7%.

Looking Forward: Over the past sixty days, the outlook for the company’s performance next quarter has become increasingly unfavorable. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year is 9 cents per share, a drop from 15 cents. The average estimate for the fiscal year is 45 cents per share, down from 49 cents ninety days ago.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

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