Hecla Mining Earnings: The Streak is Broken

Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL) swung to a loss in the third quarter, missing analysts’ forecast. Hecla Mining is engaged in the discovery, acquisition, development, production and marketing of silver, gold, lead and zinc.

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Hecla Mining Co. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Reported a loss of $885,000 (0 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. Hecla Mining Co. had a net income of $55.9 million or 19 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 32.1% to $81.9 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Hecla Mining Co. fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 4 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $85.1 million.

Quoting Management: “We are pleased to report that shaft rehabilitation at the Lucky Friday mine advanced on schedule during the third quarter, and we anticipate being in production in the first quarter of 2013 and ramping up through the year to more than two million ounces by year end,” said Hecla’s President and Chief Executive Officer Phillips S. Baker, Jr. “Work crews have completed the Silver Shaft rehabilitation work to approximately the 5700 level, which is 400 feet from the shaft bottom. Therefore, we have recalled all employees and begun preparatory work for sinking of the #4 Shaft.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has dropped for four quarters in a row. Revenue declined 43.1% to $67 million in the second quarter. The figure fell 33.2% in the first quarter from the year earlier and dropped 23.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

The company’s loss in the latest quarter follows profits in the previous three quarters. The company reported a profit of $2.5 million in the second quarter, a profit of $12.6 million in the first quarter and $18.6 million in the fourth of the last fiscal year.

The company has now fallen short of estimates in the last two quarters. In the second quarter, it missed expectations by 3 cents with net income of 2 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 5 cents per share.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the fourth quarter has moved down from 7 cents a share to 6 cents over the last ninety days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is 17 cents per share, down from 22 cents ninety days ago.

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

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