Miner Kinross Gold beats profit estimates on higher prices

Feb 10 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Kinross Gold Corp beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday as a surge in gold prices cushioned the blow from lower output.

Prices of the yellow metal surged 25% in 2020 as investors sought the safety of gold after the COVID-19 pandemic hammered the global economy.

The company’s average realized gold price rose 26% to $1,875 per ounce, helping offset a 3.3% decline in total output to 624,032 gold equivalent ounces.

Kinross Gold said it expects production to stay flat in 2021 at $2.4 million ounces of gold equivalent production.

The miner also said its spending budget for this year would be unchanged from 2020 at $900 million, while annual all-in sustaining cost was forecast to rise to $1,025 per gold equivalent ounces from $970 per gold equivalent ounces in 2020.

Net earnings attributable to common shareholders rose to $783.3 million, or 62 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $521.5 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier

Excluding items, the miner earned 27 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimate of 22 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)