New Gold reached record 212% increase in net earnings last year

A record of 212% increase in net earnings in 2011, as well as record annual gold production of 387,155 ounces, reported gold miner New Gold (TSX and NYSE AMEX:NGD).

Despite the positive announcement New Gold’s shares were down almost 4% this morning as the company target lowered at Canaccord to $16.25, Canaccord said.

The company said it met its production guidance of 380,000 to 400,000 ounces of gold, despite a decrease in fourth-quarter 2011 gold production from 124,400 ounces in fourth-quarter 2010 to 100,671 ounces. Fourth-quarter 2010 gold production had benefitted from higher grades being mined at all of the operations without grades at Mesquite and Cerro San Pedro above reserve grade.

"We are very proud of our company's successes in 2011. In addition to our three producing mines, we feel fortunate to have three exciting organic growth projects providing New Gold with an even more promising future," said executive chairman Randall Oliphant.

Net earnings during last year rose 212% from $57 million or 15 cents per share in 2010 to $179 million or 42 cents per share.

Adjusted net earnings increased by 62% to $188 million or 44 cents per share in 2011, compared to $115.7 million or 30 cents per share.

For the fourth-quarter 2011 net earnings were reported at $35 million or 8-cents per share, up from $25.6 million or 7 cents per share for the same quarter of 2010.

Adjusted net earnings for the fourth-quarter 2011 were reported at $42.2 million or 9-cents per share, down from $57 million or 15-cents per share in adjusted net earnings for the fourth-quarter 2010.

According to New Gold’s release, the fourth quarter revenue and earnings were down primarily due to production of gold, silver and copper in the fourth quarter of 2010 being benefitted by above average grade due to mine sequencing.