Cameco Q4 net profit plunges 39 per cent as COVID forced uranium mine suspension

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SASKATOON — Cameco Corp. beat expectations even as the uranium miner reported that is net income attributable to common shareholders decreased 39 per cent to $80 million in the fourth quarter due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Saskatoon-based company says its profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31 amounted to 20 cents per diluted share, which fell from a profit of 32 cents per diluted share or $128 million a year earlier.

Revenue totalled $550 million, down 37 per cent from $874 million.

On an adjusted basis, Cameco says it had a profit of $48 million, compared with a profit of $94 million from the same time a year earlier.

Cameco had an adjusted profit of 12 cents per diluted share, which fell from a profit of 24 cents per diluted share.

Analysts' on average had expected revenue of $427.5 million and an adjusted net loss of four cents per share for the quarter, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

“As we head into 2021, we remain positive about the long-term fundamentals for the uranium market,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s president and CEO.

However, production at the Cigar Lake mine was temporarily suspended for a second time in December and, as a result, Cameco says its production plan for 2021 is uncertain.

For the full-year, it lost $53 million on $1.8 billion of revenues, compared with a $74-million profit on $1.86 billion of revenues in 2019.

Cameco's shares gained $1.94 or 10.1 per cent at $21.18 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2021.

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The Canadian Press