Uranium One posts loss on higher costs

May 10. Reuters. TORONTO

Uranium One posts loss on higher costsUranium One reported a first-quarter net loss on Monday, citing falling revenues and higher operating expenses.

The Canadian company, whose main operations are in Kazakhstan, posted a loss of $21.5 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $61.1 million, or 13 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, the loss was 3 cents a share. Analysts, on average, had forecast a profit of 1 cent a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 17.4 percent to $35.5 million on lower sales volumes and a lower realized uranium price.

The average realized sales price during the first-quarter was $46 per pound, down from $49 per pound a year ago. While the average total cash cost per pound of uranium sold was $19 during the quarter, up from $17 during the year-ago period.

The company said it still expected to produce about 6.8 million pounds of uranium in 2010 and about 8 million pounds in 2011.

Uranium One continues to expect that its attributable sales for 2010 will be about 6 million pounds.

Uranium One said two weeks ago that it had acquired a stake in uranium producer Paladin Energy.

In the past year, Uranium One has sold shares to units of the governments of Russia and Japan. It also has close ties to the government of Kazakhstan, which is expected to supplant Canada as the world’s top producer of uranium this year.

However, doing business in Kazakhstan has been troubled.

A Kazakh government investigation last year into past uranium assets sales – including of a current Uranium One mine – prompted a sell-off in the company’s shares.