Silver made a solid start in 2022 and hit a high of $27.50 per ounce in March. However, it soon lost its sparkle and even dipped to as low as $17.40 in September. Rising interest rates, a stronger dollar and supply-chain challenges in the key demand segments affected silver prices throughout the quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2022, silver prices ranged between $18 an ounce and $24 an ounce. Overall, silver had a lackluster 2022 and gained a meager 2.9%.
Silver prices averaged at around $21.47 an ounce in the fourth quarter of 2022, which marked an 8% decline year over year. This was reflected in the fourth-quarter 2022 top-and-bottom-line performance of the silver mining stocks that have already reported earnings.
Let’s take a look at how some of these companies fared.
First Majestic Silver Corp AG incurred an adjusted loss per share of 7 cents in fourth-quarter 2022, which was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 4 cents mainly due to lower prices. The company had reported earnings of 2 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
Including one-time items, the company posted a loss of 6 cents per share compared with a loss per share of 2 cents in the year-earlier quarter.
First Majestic’s revenues plunged 28% year over year to $148 million in the quarter under review. The average realized silver price was $23.24 per payable silver equivalent ounce in the quarter, down 4% year over year.
Pan American Silver Corp. PAAS reported an adjusted loss per share of 2 cents for fourth-quarter 2022 due to weak precious metal prices, as well as inflated costs. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at earnings of 2 cents per share for the quarter. PAAS had reported adjusted earnings per share of 19 cents in the year-ago quarter.
Including one-time items, Pan American Silver reported a loss of 82 cents per share for the quarter against the year-ago quarter’s earnings of 7 cents.
PAAS witnessed an 11% year-over-year decline in revenues to $375 million in the quarter under review. The top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $392 million. The average realized silver price in the quarter was $21.17 per ounce, down 9% from $23.33 in the prior-year quarter. The average realized gold price was down 3% year over year to $1,736 per ounce.
Hecla Mining Company HL reported fourth-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share of 2 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of break-even earnings. The reported figure was down from earnings per share of 6 cents in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Including one-time items, Hecla Mining reported a loss of 1 cent per share against earnings per share of 2 cents in the prior-year quarter.
HL’s revenues increased 5.4% year over year to $195 million in the quarter under review. The top-line figure, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $196 million.
Against the backdrop of subdued silver prices, Endeavour Silver Corporation EXK had decided to withhold a certain amount of silver sales through the first three quarters of 2022. As prices somewhat regained ground at the end of the fourth quarter, the company sold 2.8 million ounces of silver. This marked a 99% increase from the prior-year levels.
The average realized silver price was $21.86 per ounce in the quarter, down 7% year over year. Higher sales helped EXK offset the impact of lower realized silver prices in the quarter and revenues surged 69% year over year to $82 million. The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $44 million.
Backed by higher sales, EXK reported earnings per share of 4 cents for fourth-quarter 2022, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of break-even earnings. EXK had reported break-even earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021.
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