Fourth quarter boosts Barrick year-end earnings to US$1.47 billion

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) credits a rising gold price and a strong fourth quarter as it recorded adjusted net earnings […]
Underground drilling in an unnamed mine. Credit: Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) credits a rising gold price and a strong fourth quarter as it recorded adjusted net earnings of $1.47 billion (all numbers in U.S. dollars), compared to $1.33 billion in 2002. That allowed the company to declare a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share.

President and chief executive Mark Bristow said despite picking up the pace in the latter half of the year, Barrick couldn’t quite make up for the challenges it faced in the first half, and gold production fell slightly short of the annual guidance as flagged with the third quarter results.

Full-year 2023 production was 4.05 million oz. of gold with a realized price of $1,948 per oz. Compare this with 4.14 million oz. of gold at a realized price of $1,795 in 2022. All-in sustaining costs per ounce produced were $1,335, up from $1,222/oz. a year earlier.

Copper production was 420 million lb. with a realized price of $3.85. Compare this with 440 million lb. produced in 2022 at the same realized price. All-in sustaining costs in 2023 were $3.21, up slightly from $3.18 a year earlier.

Bristow said there was a year-on-year increase in operating cash flows of 7% to $3.73 billion and free cash flow was up by 50% at $646 million. Net earnings increased by 200% to $0.72 per share, and adjusted net earningsincreased by 12% to $0.84 per share.

This allowed Barrick to reduce its debt by 1% to $4.73 billion, despite cash and equivalents suffering a drop of 7% to $4.15 billion.

“In true Barrick fashion, we kept our focus, dealt with the challenges, progressed our long-term strategic plans and delivered on some of our key objectives. Most significantly, we have sustained our industry-leading organic growth outlook and are still projecting a 30% increase in gold equivalent production by the end of this decade,” Bristow said.

Barrick has also begun a share buyback program that will see it repurchase up to $1 billion of the company’s outstanding common shares over the next 12 months at prevailing market prices.

Barrick held its fourth quarter and full-year results webinar earlier today. It is available on www.Barrick.com.

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