Silver Wheaton Reports Record Operating and Financial Results in 2011; Earnings and Operating Cash Flows Nearly Double
Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW.TO) announced its audited results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011. It also announced that its Board of Directors has declared its first quarterly cash dividend payment for 2012 of US$0.09 per common share. The quarterly dividend will be paid to holders of record of its common shares as of the close of business on April 4, 2012, and will be distributed on or about April 17, 2012.
FULL YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
– Third consecutive year of increasing attributable production to a record 25.4 million silver equivalent ounces (24.6 million ounces of silver and 18,400 ounces of gold), a 7% increase compared to 2010. This resulted in record revenue, earnings and operating cash flows.
– Revenue increased 73% compared to 2010, to US$730.0 million, on silver equivalent sales of 21.1 million ounces (20.2 million ounces of silver and 18,300 ounces of gold).
– Net earnings increased 92% compared to 2010 (on an adjusted basis1), to US$550.0 million (US$1.56 per share).
– Operating cash flows increased 96% compared to 2010, to US$626.4 million (US$1.77 per share1).
– Cash operating margin1 increased 84% compared to 2010, to US$30.56 per silver equivalent ounce. Silver Wheaton's average realized silver equivalent price increased by 68% over this same period, demonstrating Silver Wheaton's leverage to increasing silver prices.
– Average cash costs of US$4.091 per silver equivalent ounce (US$3.99 per ounce of silver and US$300 per ounce of gold), a 1% increase compared to 2010.
– Adopted new dividend policy linking quarterly dividend payments to 20% of the previous quarter's operating cash flows, providing shareholders with additional exposure to increasing silver prices and to Silver Wheaton's exceptional production growth profile. During 2011, the Company paid US$63.6 million in dividends (US$0.18 per share).
– Year end cash balance of US$840.2 million, with a net cash position of US$761.6 million.
FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
– Record attributable silver equivalent production of 6.9 million ounces (6.7 million ounces of silver and 3,900 ounces of gold), a 12% increase compared to 2010.
– Revenue of US$191.9 million, on record silver equivalent sales of 6.0 million ounces (5.8 million ounces of silver and 3,800 ounces of gold).
– Net earnings of US$144.7 million (US$0.41 per share).
– Operating cash flows of US$163.7 million (US$0.46 per share1).
– Average cash costs of US$4.061 per silver equivalent ounce.
– Quarterly dividend US$0.09 per common share was paid to shareholders, representing a threefold increase from the prior quarter.
– Goldcorp Inc.'s world-class Penasquito mine is forecast to achieve full production capacity of 130,000 tonnes per day by the end of Q1 2012. This cornerstone asset is poised to become our largest contributor of silver and will drive our production growth in 2012. As a result, Silver Wheaton anticipates a 6% increase in its 2012 attributable production to approximately 27 million silver equivalent ounces, including 16,500 ounces of gold.
– Given the Company's unique business model of essentially fixed cash costs2, average cash costs in 2012 are estimated to be approximately US$4.071 per silver equivalent ounce, virtually unchanged from 2011.
– Executing on its growth strategy of acquiring additional value-enhancing silver and precious metals streams will remain Silver Wheaton's top priority in 2012.