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Pan American Silver hikes dividend 40% as Q4'17 net income more than doubles YOY

Pan American Silver Corp.'s hiked its quarterly cash dividend by 40% to 3.5 U.S. cents per share after net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017 more than doubled year over year.

The company posted quarterly net earnings of US$49.7 million, or 32 cents per share, which included a US$60.2 million reversal of the 2015 impairment on the Morococha mine in Peru, compared to net earnings of US$22.3 million, or 14 cents apiece, a year ago.

Revenue in the three-month period increased 19% year over year to US$226.0 million on the back of higher sales volumes for all metals, except copper, and higher prices for all metals, except silver.

Capital expenditures in the quarter totaled US$42.3 million, compared to US$56.5 million a year ago, according to the Feb. 20 release.

On the production side, the company's silver output increased 4% year over year to 6.6 million ounces in the fourth quarter, mainly due to increases at the Dolores and La Colorada mines in Mexico, and the Morococha mine.

Gold production in the quarter remained at the same level with 43,700 ounces, compared to 43,900 ounces in the year-ago quarter.

In the fourth quarter, zinc production increased 11% to 14,700 tonnes, while lead production declined 2% to 5,400 tonnes, compared to the year-ago period.

Copper production in the quarter dropped 3% year over year to 3,000 tonnes mainly due to mine sequencing at Morococha.

Consolidated all-in sustaining costs per silver ounce sold totaled US$10.86 in the fourth quarter, compared to US$10.38 in the year-ago quarter.

For full-year 2017, net earnings rose to US$123.5 million, or 79 cents per share, from US$101.8 million, or 66 cents per share, in 2016, as revenue improved 5% to US$816.8 million due to higher base metal prices and lower treatment and refining charges.

Pan American is aiming to grow its silver production at an annual rate of 8% to between 30.5 million and 33 million ounces by 2020.