Endeavour Silver production jumps 26% in Q1

Endeavour Silver production jumps 26% in Q1

Cataloguing core samples at Bolañitos mine. (Courtesy of Endeavour Silver)

Vancouver-based Endeavour Silver (TSX:EDR) (NYSE:EXK) said Wednesday its first quarter silver equivalent production jumped up 26% compared to the same period a year ago driven by increased output of both gold and the gray precious metal.

The company, which operates three silver mines in Mexico, said the figures are already well ahead of its production plan for 2014, despite not planning any production increase for the year.

Pure silver production increased 26% to 1.89 million ounces, while gold output rose 23% to 18,519 ounces. Endeavour sold 1% more silver, and 5% more gold during the latest period, it said.

The results posted today come only a few days after the deaths of two company employees due to a rock fall underground, which prompted the company to implement a full safety retraining program at its three mines:  Guanaceví, Bolañitos and El Cubo.

CEO Bradford Cooke said in the statement that the mines would shut down for two days so each shift can receive a two-day refresher course on safety policies and practices. In addition, Cooke added that the company will retain an underground mine safety specialist to review Endeavour‘s safety programs and implement any recommended improvements.

Despite the positive results, equities researchers at The Street downgraded the company stock from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.

According to the report, “the company’s weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.”

Shares were trading slightly lower in Toronto on Wednesday, down 0.41% to $4.86 at 2:00 ET pm.