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Cameco Q4 net profit plunges 39 per cent as COVID-19 forced uranium mine suspension

Saskatoon-based Cameco says it had a profit of $48 million, compared with a profit of $94 million from the same time a year earlier. File / Global News

Cameco Corp. beat expectations even as the uranium miner reported that its net income attributable to common shareholders decreased 39 per cent to $80 million in the fourth quarter due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Saskatoon-based company says its profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31 amounted to 20 cents per diluted share, which fell from a profit of 32 cents per diluted share or $128 million a year earlier.

Read more: Cameco temporarily shutting down Cigar Lake over rising COVID-19 risks

Revenue totalled $550 million, down 37 per cent from $874 million.

On an adjusted basis, Cameco says it had a profit of $48 million, compared with a profit of $94 million from the same time a year earlier.

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Cameco had an adjusted profit of 12 cents per diluted share, which fell from a profit of 24 cents per diluted share.

Analysts’ on average had expected revenue of $427.5 million and an adjusted net loss of four cents per share for the quarter, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Read more: Cameco, CRA tax battle may head to Supreme Court of Canada

“As we head into 2021, we remain positive about the long-term fundamentals for the uranium market,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s president and CEO.

However, production at the Cigar Lake mine was temporarily suspended for a second time in December and, as a result, Cameco says its production plan for 2021 is uncertain.

For the full-year, it lost $53 million on $1.8 billion of revenues, compared with a $74-million profit on $1.86 billion of revenues in 2019.

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