by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:
The past few years have been brutal for the gold miners, most of which brought it on themselves by starting new, high-cost mines just in time for the metal’s price to crater. The resulting write-downs and operating losses have made this without question the most unloved sector in the whole market.
The consensus among analysts has been that most miners’ costs are so structurally sticky that only slight reductions will be possible, making the industry a financial basket case until gold starts rising again.
Then Newmont, the second biggest gold miner, reported its first quarter earnings. Among other startling numbers, its all-in sustaining costs to produce one ounce of gold fell nearly 18 percent to $849 and its earnings rose by either 50% or 89% year-over-year, depending on the definition of profit being used (analysts were predicting a slight earnings decline). Free cash flow, meanwhile, soared to $344 million from the year-earlier $52 million.
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