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Silver Wheaton Profit Tops Estimate - Update

Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW,SLW.TO) Thursday reported a 23 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, as the Canadian silver miner benefited from strong increases in production and sales. Both quarterly earnings and revenues came in ahead of Wall Street expectations.

"2012 was another exceptional year for Silver Wheaton, anchored by a fourth quarter that saw record production, sales, revenue, net income, and cash flow for the company," said CEO Randy Smallwood.

The Canada- based company reported a quarterly net profit of $177.7 million or $0.50 per share, up from $144.7 million or $0.41 per share last year.

On average, 10 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.49 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Sales for the quarter jumped 50 percent to $287 million from about $192 million a year ago. Analysts on consensus estimated revenues of$259.42 million for the quarter.

Silver equivalent production in the quarter rose 22 percent to 8.5 million ounces from 6.9 million ounces in the prior year, and sales volume surged 53 percent to 9.1 million ounces from 6 million ounces.

Looking ahead, Silver Wheaton expects a 13 percent year-over-year increase in its 2013 attributable production to about 33.5 million silver equivalent ounces, including 145 thousand ounces of gold.

For 2017, the company has forecast 53 million ounces of silver equivalent production.

The acquisition of the Salobo and Sudbury gold streams from Vale S.A. subsequent to December 2012 is expected to double Silver Wheaton's attributable gold production over the next five years. Coupled with a full year of attributable production from Hudbay's 777 mine, acquired in August, these assets will help improve production in 2013, the company said.

Silver Wheaton declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.14 per share, payable on or about April 12 to shareholders as of April 2.

Silver Wheaton closed Thursday at $30.98, up 2.58%, on a volume of 5 million shares on the NYSE. In after hours, the stock gained 1.19%.

In Toronto, the stock closed at C$31.69, up 2.29%, on a volume of 1.4 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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