TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Primary silver producer First Majestic Silver Corp swung to a full-year 2015 adjusted loss as record silver-equivalent production and significantly lower costs failed to counter lower prices.
For the fourth quarter ended December 31, the Vancouver-based company reported an adjusted loss that excluded once-off items of $3-million, or $0.02 a share, beating Wall Street analyst expectations by a penny, compared with fourth-quarter earnings in 2014 of $4.2-million, or $0.04 a share.
For the full year 2015, First Majestic reported an adjusted net loss of $14.1-million, or $0.11 a share, as revenues declined 11% year-on-year to $219.4-million, mainly owing to a 14% drop in the average realised price of silver to $16.06/oz.
Silver equivalent output in 2015 totalled 16.1-million ounces, representing a 5% increase compared with 2014, though silver output totalled 11.1-million ounces, which represented a 5% decrease compared with 2014.
First Majestic reported all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $13.43 per payable silver ounce, a 24% decrease from 2014.
During the fourth quarter, First Majestic’s consolidated AISC fell to $11.28/oz, representing a significant reduction of 22% compared with the previous quarter, mainly owing to the inclusion of its latest acquisition, the Santa Elena mine.
“We experienced a nice start to 2016 with a renewed interest in precious metals pushing prices higher and coinciding with currency exchange weakness and increased volatility in the Mexican Peso. These two components, if sustained throughout 2016, will have a significant influence on the company’s operating cash flows this year. With First Majestic now producing silver from six mines, we expect 2016 will be another record year of production,” stated president and CEO Keith Neumeyer.
General and administrative costs also fell 12% to $17-million in 2015.
For 2016, silver output was expected to increase to a new record range of between 12-million and 13.3-million ounces, or 17.8-million to 19.8-million silver equivalent ounces, mainly owing to the addition of a full year’s worth of production from Santa Elena, offset by lower output forecast at Del Toro and San Martin.
The company was expecting its 2016 AISC to be within a range of between $12.29/oz and $13.36/oz, or between $11.82/oz and $12.84/oz after excluding noncash items such as share-based payments and accretion of decommissioning liabilities.
First Majestic’s TSX-listed stock had lost 19.41% in the last 12 months, holding up relatively well when compared with its peers. On Thursday morning, the stock traded 1.16% lower at C$5.95 apiece.