Fortuna Reports Solid Q2; Should Exceed 2014 Production Guidance
Overall Q2 was “a very good quarter,” Fortuna Silver’s president and CEO, Jorge A. Ganoza, told investors this morning.
Earnings season is in full swing, with companies reporting their Q2 results left, right and center. Today was Fortuna Silver Mines’ (TSX:FVI,NYSE:FSM) turn — though the company officially released its second-quarter results yesterday, it held a conference call to discuss them this morning.
Summing up Q2, Jorge A. Ganoza, president and CEO of Fortuna, told listeners, “it was overall a very good quarter.” A quick look at the results put out by the company shows that his positivity is partially based on its financial performance — Fortuna generated net income of $2.9 million, up from a loss of $10.6 million in the year-ago quarter, while cash flow from operations “before changes in non-cash working capital” came to $15.1 million, a whopping 157-percent rise from the second quarter last year.
That said, Fortuna’s production numbers are also impressive. The company put out 1,630,422 ounces of silver and 8,519 ounces of gold; respectively, those are increases of 52 and 64 percent from Q2 2013. The numbers mean Fortuna is “in a position to exceed [its] annual guidance of 6 million ounces of silver and 32,000 ounces of gold,” Ganoza said today.
Even more positive is the fact that the company’s all-in sustaining cash cost per ounce of payable silver, net of by-product credits, fell to $17.41, down 21 percent from the year-ago period. The drop came about due to “lower sustaining capital and brownfields exploration expenditures, higher payable ounces of silver and higher by-product credits,” according to yesterday’s press release. Ganoza said that figure is “in line with [Fortuna’s] $17 guidance for the year.”
Though Fortuna’s Q2 results are certainly solid, investors have reacted somewhat tepidly — the company’s share price hit a high of $6.45 yesterday, but that’s only a 3.2-percent increase from Monday’s closing price. Currently, shares of Fortuna are selling for just $5.89.
Seeking Alpha contributor Ben Kramer-Miller posited today that the reason for that response may be that already “Fortuna shares have doubled for the year,” largely because ”[i]nvestors have been bidding up shares in the hopes that the company will find more silver and expand its production while it will lower costs.”
While that has “offer[ed] investors an opportunity to take profits,” Kramer-Miller believes prospects don’t look good moving forward. “I think there are better silver opportunities out there that are flying under the radar,” he said.
Others, however, are much more positive about Fortuna. In a Gold Report interview published today, Chris Thompson, an analyst at Raymond James, commented that the company has “absolutely met [his] expectations.” Continuing, he noted, “Fortuna is a rare example of a company that operates two mines in two countries efficiently and cost effectively.”
He added that one of those mines, San Jose, “has had tremendous exploration success through the discovery of a new high-grade zone,” which for Fortuna “is a tremendous opportunity for organic production growth and cash-flow growth.”
Fortunately for the company, most analysts seem to agree with Thompson. Statistics from Analyst Ratings Network show that while two firms have a “sell” rating on Fortuna, five rate it a “hold” and four rate it a “buy.” The company has a consensus price target of $5.50 and will certainly be one for investors to keep an eye on moving forward.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.