Spokane Journal of Business

Whatever Happened To Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp.

Former Idaho company anticipates improvement in performance following 10-year downward trend

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-Mike McLean
The former Coeur d’Alene Mines headquarters in downtown Coeur d’Alene still has remnants of the mining company, including masonry panels showing historic mining scenes.

After persistent declines in earnings in recent years for Coeur Mining Inc., the former Idaho company is optimistic that it’s poised for a rebound in performance. 

When the Journal last reported on Coeur, formerly Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp., the company had announced it was moving its corporate headquarters to the Windy City in September 2013. Coeur, which was founded in 1928, had been located in downtown Coeur d’Alene since 1985.

At the time, Coeur President and CEO Mitchell J. Krebs, who has been with the company since 1995 and succeeded longtime top executive Dennis Wheeler in 2011, said the relocation to Illinois would improve access to the company’s operations, transportation, and key stakeholders.

Krebs, who still leads the company, and corporate communications manager Donna Sabido declined requests for interviews for this update.

Coeur, having sold its Galena mine in the Silver Valley to U.S. Silver Corp in mid-2006, has no holdings in Idaho.

Its current holdings are the Rochester silver-gold mine in Nevada, the Kensington gold mine in Alaska, the Wharf gold mine in South Dakota, the Palmarejo gold and silver complex in Mexico, and the Silvertip silver-zinc-lead exploration project in British Columbia. The company has 2,100 employees, according to its website.

In Coeur’s most recent earnings report for the second quarter of 2023 ended June 30, the company tallied a net loss of $32.4 million, or 10 cents per share, based on revenue of $177.2 million. While an improvement from the year earlier quarter, when the company reported a loss of $77.4 million, or 28 cents a share, Coeur has reported losses in six of the last nine quarters dating back to the second quarter of 2021.

The company also has reported full-year losses in seven of the years since the move, with positive income in 2016, 2017, and 2020, in which Coeur had combined net income of $25.8 million, compared with combined losses of $1.95 billion in the remaining years.

In the second-quarter earnings call held Aug. 10, Krebs said Coeur performance was weaker than planned at the Kensington mine, where production was hindered in part by heavy spring snowmelt and runoff, but he expects strong performance from the Alaska mine in the back half of the year.

He also said recent construction efforts at the Rochester mine will be followed by a ramp up of production.

He expects steady performance at the Wharf mine, where the state of South Dakota has recently approved a permit for Coeur to expand operations.

Krebs also said recent exploration results from the Palmarejo mine showed the highest gold grades the company has seen at the Mexico site.

Some Wall Street analysts that watch Coeur also are optimistic about the company. According to CNNMoney.com, the current consensus as of Oct. 18 among seven polled investment analysts covering the company is to buy Coeur stock, a rating that has held steady since September.

Coeur has scheduled its third-quarter earnings call for Nov. 9.

The company’s stock price (NYSE:CDE) was $2.59 a share at the close of trading on Monday, Oct. 23, down from a 52-week high closing price of $4.43 on April 13, but trending upward from a historic low of $2.06 on Oct. 3.

Coeur’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the second quarter of 2023 shows the company’s market capitalization was $957.1 million. That’s down significantly from the third quarter of 2013, in which Coeur relocated its headquarters to Chicago, when its market cap was $1.28 billion.

At one time, Coeur billed itself as the largest U.S. silver producer, a title that Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Co. now claims on the home page of its website.

Meantime, the company’s former headquarters building, at 505 E. Front  in downtown Coeur d’Alene still has the Coeur Building moniker on its exterior, along with several street-level masonry panels depicting historic mining scenes.

Having changed hands a couple of times over the past decade, the building is now home to the headquarters for Great Floors. Other tenants include financial services company Morgan Stanley and law firms Kevin J. Waite PC and Daugharty Law Group. The Coeur Building has a current taxable value of $4.6 million.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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