Golden age for Newcrest as it rakes in net profits at a rate of $110 million per month

Newcrest Mining, a top five global gold producer, announced on Friday strengthening gold prices helped lift its first-half profit by 50% to $659 million, above expectations.

The company operates 8 mines in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Ivory Coast.

CEO Greg Robinson said he expects gold would trade within a range of $1,500 to $2,500 per oz according to Sky News:

Mr Robinson said the miner's two major growth projects, the Cadia East underground mine in NSW and Lihir Million Ounce Plant Upgrade project in Papua New Guinea (PNG), were on time and on budget for completion this calendar year.

He said the company expected performance would improve at its Hidden Valley mine in PNG and Bonikro operation in Ivory Coast.

WSJ.com reports the outlook for Newcrest is positive:

"We believe with production levels forecast to improve over the coming quarters and expansion projects getting closer to completion, the momentum in the stock is to the upside," analysts at Macquarie said in a research note to clients

The Sydney Morning Herald reports upped its interim dividend to 12 cents, 20% higher than last year:

When asked if shareholders could be rewarded with a special dividend when the company reports its full year results in August, Newcrest chief executive Greg Robinson said such a move would be considered, and was "always on the cards" in times of plenty.

Newcrest enjoyed a nice move higher on a weak day on the Sydney stock market on Friday. After gaining 1.7% on the day it is now worth $26 billion, up 15% so far this year.