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Yamana hikes dividend again as cash pile grows

Canada's Yamana Gold has made good on executive chairman Peter Marrone’s recent commitment to return more capital to owners, this time hiking the annual dividend 12% to US7c per share.
Yamana hikes dividend again as cash pile grows Yamana hikes dividend again as cash pile grows Yamana hikes dividend again as cash pile grows Yamana hikes dividend again as cash pile grows Yamana hikes dividend again as cash pile grows

Yamana Gold has declared a fourth annual dividend hike in 12 months to 7c per share

The increase is the fourth in 12 months - a cumulative 250% increase over the period.

Yamana said it was committed to a "gradual and progressive" approach to dividend increases as its cash balance continued to grow through free cash flow and non-core asset and financial instrument sales. At the new annual rate, the dividend paid will be above $70 per gold-equivalent ounce (GEO), in line with the company's target of between $50-$100/GEO.

Since late 2006, when the company first started regular distributions, it has returned more than $940 million to shareholders, about on par with other senior-level peers.

The company, which operates five mines in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Chile, reported surging adjusted earnings for the June quarter at $63.3 million, or 7c per share, more than triple the $19.8 million, or 2c per share reported in the comparable year-earlier period. The result beat the consensus forecast for earning 2c per share.

Nil net earnings compared with $14.1 million, or 1c per share, a year earlier.

Revenue came to $303.4 million, down 34.5% year-on-year, mainly owing to the sale of Chapada in July last year, and lower sales volumes from the Canadian Malartic and Cerro Moro mines, with both mines experiencing a ramp up during the quarter following their respective shutdowns in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lower sales were partially offset by higher realised precious metal prices and strong operating performances from its cornerstone mines.

Unit costs during the period came in below plan thanks to the strong performances from Jacobina, El Penon, Minera Florida and Canadian Malartic. All-in sustaining costs were $1,125/GEO sold, compared with $986/oz a year ago.

GEO output for the period came in above plan at 183,582oz. The company confirmed its full-year guidance at 890,000GEOs, saying production was currently tracking above guidance. AISC guidance was adjusted slightly higher to $1,020-$1,060/GEO, mainly owing to COVID-19 impacts.

The company paid back $101.1 million of debt, reducing the outstanding amount to $768 million. It has about $324.8 million in cash on hand.

Yamana had recently announced its intention to list on the LSE in a bid to attract more investors to the stock, with Maronne telling Mining Journal this week the company was open to considering a merger of equals, should it create value.

Shares in Yamana (NYSE:AUY) have doubled over the past 12 months to $5.80, adding more than 50% in the year to date alone. It has a market cap of $5.5 billion.