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HECLA MINING REPORTS THIRD-QUARTER RESULTS

 HECLA MINING REPORTS THIRD-QUARTER RESULTS
 COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Hecla Mining Co.


(NYSE, PSE: HL) today released results for the third quarter of 1991, recording a loss of $4.7 million, or 15 cents a share, on revenue of $28.9 million, compared to income of $600,000, or 2 cents a share, on revenue of $46.7 million in the third quarter of 1990. Lower precious metals prices have taken their toll as Hecla's sales decreased by $14.7 million in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, primarily because of significant decreases in the prices of gold, silver, lead and zinc.
 Arthur Brown, Hecla's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "I am disappointed with the current level of metals prices, but market signs point to an eventual upturn in the price cycle. We have been concentrating on cutting costs and keeping overhead low, and must now look to an improvement in prices."
 The average gold price decreased 6 percent from $382 per ounce in the third quarter of 1990 to $358 per ounce in the third quarter of 1991. Silver declined 16 percent from 1990's third quarter average price of $4.88 per ounce to $4.09 in the third quarter of this year. Even more dramatic was the 36 percent decline in the average price of lead, from 39 cents per pound in the third quarter of 1990 to 25 cents per pound in the same period this year. The average price of zinc also fell significantly, down 35 percent from 72 cents per pound in last year's third quarter to 47 cents per pound in the third quarter of 1991.
 Hecla's total gold production decreased about 22,000 ounces in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year. This is primarily due to the decrease in production at Hecla's Yellow Pine heap leach operation in central Idaho as the known oxide reserve is depleted. The Republic Unit in northeast Washington continues to perform well, producing nearly 60,000 ounces of gold so far this year. According to Brown, good potential exists at Republic for discovering additional ore reserves.
 Silver operations continue to suffer losses due to the depressed price, and falling lead and zinc prices have also had a significant negative effect on revenue realized from the Lucky Friday and Greens Creek mines. However, the operations continue to run efficiently, with both mines achieving a lower cost per ton during the first nine months of 1991 compared to the same period last year.
 Brown said, "Our industrial minerals segment has performed admirably this year, more than doubling gross profit in the first nine months of 1991 compared to the same period last year." He commented that continued cost-cutting and consolidation activities implemented over the past 18 months at the industrial minerals operations are responsible for improved profitability.
 HECLA MINING CO.
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (In thousands, except net income |loss~ per share)
 Prior years' results have been restated to reflect the CoCa Mines Inc. merger, accounted for on a "pooling-of-interests" basis, which allows comparison of current statements with those of the previous year. Consequently, the financial statements presented here cannot be compared directly to earlier quarterly statements.
 Third Quarter First Nine Months
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Total revenue $ 28,895 $ 46,685 $ 92,459 $125,595
 Net income (loss) $ (4,666) $ 601 $(13,577) $ 9,002
 Net income (loss)
 per share $ (0.15) $ 0.02 $ (0.45) $ 0.30
 Sale of Products:
 Gold operations $ 12,662 $ 22,809 $ 39,212 $ 54,983
 Silver operations 5,978 11,579 20,198 33,950
 Specialty metals
 operations -- 361 -- 786
 Industrial minerals 10,124 8,769 31,524 27,751
 Total sales $ 28,764 $ 43,518 $ 90,934 $117,470
 Gross Profit (Loss):
 Gold operations $ 2,368 $ 5,156 $ 9,851 $ 20,460
 Silver operations (3,770) 1,046 (9,962) (1,652)
 Specialty metals
 operations -- (1,331) -- (3,802)
 Industrial minerals 1,706 655 5,409 2,488
 Total gross profit $ 304 $ 5,526 $ 5,298 $ 17,494
 Weighted average
 common shares
 outstanding 30,111 30,056 30,077 30,053
 Third Quarter First Nine Months
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Average metal prices:
 Gold (dollars/ounce) 358 382 363 385
 Silver (dollars/ounce) 4.09 4.88 4.04 5.03
 Lead (cents/pound) 25 39 26 39
 Zinc (cents/pound) 47 72 51 72
 Gold & Silver Production:
 Gold (ounces) 37,963 59,653 110,802 142,113
 Silver (ounces) 1,375,584 1,495,350 3,966,251 4,942,369
 -0- 11/7/91
 /CONTACT: Bill Booth of Hecla Mining Co., 208-769-4100/
 (HL) CO: Hecla Mining Co. ST: Idaho IN: MNG SU: ERN RJ-SC -- SE001 -- 2031 11/07/91 08:31 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 7, 1991
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