OZ Minerals Limited shares fall despite huge profit growth

Shares in gold and copper producer OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) have failed to find buying support today despite reporting record production numbers and a significant uplift in profit.

Just before the close of trade, the share price had fallen around 2% to $4.17.

The miner, which operates the Prominent Hill mine, reports on a calendar year basis and released its full year results on Wednesday.

Here are some of the highlights…

  • Revenue of $879.4 million
  • Net profit after tax leapt 168% to $130.2 million
  • Cash balance of $552.5 million and no debt
  • A final unfranked dividend of 14 cents per share (cps) has been declared. The shares will trade ex-dividend on February 22 with payment on March 10
  • For the full year dividends totalling 20 cps have been either declared or paid
  • Record copper production of 130,305 tonnes and gold production of 113,028 ounces

What’s next?

Management has provided production guidance for 2016 of between 115,000 and 125,000 tonnes of copper and between 125,000 and 135,000 ounces of gold.

Pleasingly, management also provided investors with longer-term production guidance figures which show a decline in expected copper production but an increase in expected gold production.

Given the weakness in commodity prices generally, most miners are expected to report lower profits. The saving grace for miners and their shareholders will be their ability to reduce operating costs and boost production levels.

Many investors are focussed on these very factors with mining giants BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) receiving plenty of analysis. For Oz Minerals to report such a solid result thanks to a combination of record production and a sharp focus on costs is certainly a pleasing outcome and perhaps provides some hope as to what other miners can achieve too.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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