(Bloomberg) — Skyrocketing bullion prices helped Barrick Gold Corp. generate record amounts of cash — and shareholders are getting rewarded with another dividend hike.The world’s second-largest gold producer spun out $1.3 billion of free cash flow in the third quarter, prompting the company to hike its quarterly payout for a third time in the past year. Barrick reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ estimates on Thursday, as surging bullion prices helped offset the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on its business.“In the face of unprecedented challenges we have succeeded in beating our earnings consensus, reinforcing our 10-year plan and capitalizing on the gold price to maintain an industry-leading balance sheet,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in the company’s earnings report.Gold surged to record heights above $2,000 an ounce in August, helping lift miners’ fortunes. Barrick raised its dividend almost 13% to 9 cents a share, joining rivals Newmont Corp., AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. in boosting quarterly payouts. Barrick’s dividend has doubled since mid-2019.Bristow said the 9-cent dividend is “sustainable” and the Toronto-based company still plans to announce a new policy for returning capital to shareholders next year.“At the same time, I’m more conservative than most,” Bristow said in a phone interview. “I’ve always been like that.”Barrick also reduced its debt net of cash by 71% to $417 million, and the company said it has no significant maturities until 2033.Barrick rose 2.9% to $28.21 at 8 a.m. in early U.S. trading. The shares climbed 48% this year through Wednesday’s close in New York, tracking the gains of a Bloomberg Intelligence index of senior gold miners.Get MoreBarrick reported adjusted earnings of 41 cents a share in the third quarter, beating the 33-cent average estimate of 18 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Revenue jumped 32% to $3.54 billion, the highest since Barrick completed its merger with Randgold Resources Ltd. in January 2019.For additional details on the news, click here.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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