Gold-equivalent production of 558,777 ounces was below the 571,773oz of a year ago and less than Canaccord Genuity's estimate of 588,000oz.
Realised EBITDA of US$449 million was below Canaccord's estimate of $497 million and consensus of $496 million, although adjusted earnings per share of 15c was in line with consensus and Canaccord's 14c.
"Management previously noted production should increase each quarter in 2021 (which is in line with our forecasts), however Q1 came in weaker than we had modelled," Canaccord's Carey MacRury said.
Kinross president and CEO J Paul Rollinson said the Canada-based miner's portfolio had performed well as it continued to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
"The company delivered a 51% year-over-year increase in adjusted net earnings, with margins increasing 25% to $1,031 per ounce sold, once again outpacing the increase in the average realised gold price," he said.
"We are well-positioned to continue generating strong cash flow through the year, are on track to meet our annual guidance, and we are in an excellent financial position."
Kinross commits to net zero
Kinross yesterday announced a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, an aim shared by other miners including Newmont and Barrick Gold.
"In line with our values and commitment to responsible environmental stewardship, Kinross is taking an important step and committing to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050," Rollinson said.
"To support this goal, we are currently developing a strategy that we expect to finalise by year-end that will identify tangible GHG reduction targets for 2030, and the steps the company plans to take to achieve those targets, leveraging our position as one of the lowest GHG emitters among our peers."
Among its development projects, Kinross said the Gil satellite pits at Fort Knox were due to start production before year-end, and the La Coipa restart was on schedule for production in mid-2022.
Kinross ended the quarter with about $1 billion in cash and equivalents, total liquidity of $2.6 billion and total debt of $1.9 billion.
The board declared a quarterly dividend of 3c per common share.
Canaccord maintained its buy rating and target price of C$13.50.
Kinross shares closed down 0.43% to $9.31, capitalising it at $11.7 billion (US$9.7 billion).