Sierra Metals (NYSE:SMTS, TSX:SMT) released Q3 2021 results that were negatively impacted by temporary challenges at their Bolivar mine. The company reiterated the strength of their balance sheet, commitment to production growth and shareholder return.
Q3 2021 Operational Results
It was a difficult operational quarter for Sierra Metals as the company dealt with residual effects of COVID-19 at their Bolivar mine – which included delays on mine development, infill drilling and equipment availability. These factors had a material impact on throughput, head grades and recoveries for the quarter. Tailwinds for the quarter included stronger metal prices and favorable foreign exchange rates.
Management views these issues at temporary in nature; the company is currently conducting a comprehensive review of all the operational processes at Bolivar from geology to mine to mill.
- Revenue for the quarter came in at $60.7 million, a decrease of 17% from Q3 2020.
- EBITDA was $17.4 million, a decrease of 53% from Q3 2020.
Throughput for the quarter decreased by 6% – on a copper equivalent basis Sierra Metals produced 21.9 million pounds; 2.9 million pounds less than Q2 2021 and 13.3 million pounds less than the previous year.
Copper accounted for 38% of total revenue for the quarter, followed by zinc at 25%, silver at 21%, lead at 11% and gold at 5%.
Production guidance has remained unchanged for the full year 2021, with copper equivalent production expected to be in the range of between 110 million and 115 million pounds. Copper is expected to continue to have a leading role in the company’s metal mix of production and revenue.
The operational challenges at the Bolivar mine have resulted in management lowering 2021 EBITDA guidance to $105 – $110 million, the mid-point of the new range represents a 2021 EBITDA increase of +11% from 2020.
Looking ahead at the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, Sierra metals sees normal operations at their Yauricocha and Cusi mines. Bolivar still has a backlog of development and infill drilling that will affect its production.
Strong Balance Sheet & Dividend Initiation
Sierra Metals maintains a strong balance sheet relative to its mining peers, finishing the quarter with $58 million in cash and total net debt of $28.6 million. The current capital position will be able to support capital expenditures, debt repayment and growth initiatives.
On November 5th the company declared an annual dividend for 2021 of $0.03 per common share ($5 million), payable on December 7th, 2021. The base dividend of $0.03/share will be topped up with an additional amount for shareholders based on the available cash flows generated each year after accounting for capital spending.
Sierra Metals Trades at a Deep Discount vs. Peers
Looking at updated valuation metrics (Bloomberg consensus, November 10th, 2021), Sierra Metals trades at a deeply discounted valuation multiple relative to its copper peers across all metrics.
- 77% discount on forward price-to-cashflow
- 75% discount on forward EV-to-EBITDA
- 75% discount on forward price-to-sales
Sierra Metals is a market awareness client of Capital 10X.
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