Molycorp posts weaker revenues, wider losses

As expected in the wake of recently disclosed problems at its mine near Primm, Molycorp Inc. on Thursday posted weaker revenues and much larger losses during its third quarter compared to a year ago.

Revenues, mostly from the sale of rare-earth ores from its mine at Mountain Pass, Calif., about 15 miles south of Primm, dropped 27 percent to $149.1 million. The average of analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had predicted $161 million.

The net loss more than quadrupled to $69.8 million, or 43 cents per share. Subtracting certain expenses categorized by management as noncash or one-time, such as inventory write-downs or removing waste water, the loss was reduced to $45.9 million, or 27 cents a share.

Analysts had predicted 27 cents a share.

In after-hours trading, the stock dropped 14 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $4.62 a share, a mere penny above its all time low.

Rare earths, in tiny quantities, improve the performance and reduce the weight of industrial magnets in a wide variety of applictions such as computer hard drives and hybrid cars. However, prices have dropped significantly in the last two years while the cost of renovating Mountain Pass, after several years of sitting idle, have soared well past announced budgets.

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