10/25/2012 09:13 EDT | Updated 12/25/2012 05:12 EST

Gold miner Goldcorp reports third-quarter sales and profit up from year ago

Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) reported a better than expected third-quarter profit of US$498 million on Thursday, helped by improvements at its Red Lake and Penasquito mines in Ontario and Mexico.

"Following the operational challenges we experienced in the first half of 2012, these improved results demonstrate the resilience and stability of our overall mine portfolio," Goldcorp president and chief executive Chuck Jeannes said told a conference call with analysts.

"There's always significant work to be done, but we're confident that we can meet the challenges and continue to deliver on the unique value proposition that Goldcorp has represented over the long term."

The Vancouver-based gold miner, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said the profit amounted to 61 cents per diluted share for its latest quarter, up from $336 million or 41 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $1.54 billion, up from $1.31 billion.

Adjusted for one-time items, Goldcorp said it earned $441 million or 54 cents per share in the quarter, compared to $450 million or 56 cents per share a year ago.

The average analyst estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 48 cents per share.

Shares in Goldcorp closed up $2.81 or about seven per cent at $43.60 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Gold sales in the quarter totalled 617,800 ounces up from 571,500 a year ago. Production amounted to 592,500 ounces compared with 592,100 ounces in the third quarter of 2011.

Silver production amounted to 8.5 million ounces, up from 6.5 million a year ago.

The average realized gold price for the quarter was $1,685, down from $1,719, while the average realized silver price was $27.06, down from $32.49.

Gold and silver production at Penasquito mine totalled 126,000 ounces and seven million ounces respectively in the third quarter as the company continued to deal with water shortages. That compared with 55,800 ounces of gold and 4.2 million ounces of silver a year ago.

Goldcorp said a study to address potential longer-term water problems and the tailings operations is expected to be finished in the first half of next year.

"In the meantime, the team will continue to focus on the exploration and development of additional water wells in the well field and the detwatering areas for the pit," Jeannes said.

"Our current water availability remains sufficient to achieve our guidance of between 370,000 and 390,000 ounces of gold produced in 2012."

At Red Lake in Ontario, production for the third quarter amounted to 121,200 ounces, down from 127,000 a year ago.

In August, Goldcorp announced the first gold production from the Pueblo Viejo gold mine in which it holds a 40 per cent stake. Barrick Gold Corp. owns the remaining 60 per cent and is the mine operator.

Goldcorp is Canada's second-largest gold company.

Goldcorp, which has several projects in development and set to come into production over the next couple of years, has said it expects to be producing 4.2 million ounces of gold per year by 2016.

The company has mines as well as exploration and development projects in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Guatemala and Argentina.

Earlier this month, Goldcorp closed the sale of part of its stake in Primero Mining Corp. (TSX:P) in a secondary offering worth $44.2 million.

Goldcorp continues to hold a 32 per cent stake in the company.