(Businesshala) – US rare earth miner MP Materials Corp posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday on rising prices of minerals used to make high-end electronics and weapons.
The stock rose 5% to $38 in after-hours trading.
The company, which relies on China to process rare earths from its California mine, reported a net loss of $62.5 million, or 92 cents per share in the year, compared to a net loss of $27.2 million, or 15 cents per share, in the second quarter. Reported profit- the first quarter when it was a private company.
Excluding one-time items, MP earned 17 cents per share. By that measure, analysts were expecting earnings of 13 cents per share, according to Refinitiv’s IBES data.
Sales of rare earth oxides fell about 4% due to shipment timing, but increased by 137% in price.
Currently, MP lightly processes rare earths extracted from California’s Mountain Pass mine and sends the material here to China to separate it into various rare earth metals because there are no US-based alternatives.
The US government has funded the Las Vegas-based company to help bring processing back to the country, where the rare earth industry originated in the mid-20th century.
MP expects California to produce about 6,000 tons of the rare earth metals neodymium and praseodymium annually by 2023.