Gold, Silver Tarnish Sprott's Fourth Quarter

Apr 2 2012 | 12:45pm ET

A tough market for precious metals all but wiped out hedge fund Sprott Inc.'s profit in the fourth quarter.

The Toronto-based money manager said its net profit fell by 96% from the same period of 2010, from C$108.6 million to just C$4.6 million. Revenue fell by almost 85% to C$38.1 million.

Analysts had estimated Sprott would earn C$0.06 per share; it actually earned C$0.03.

"For sometime now, we have been vocal on our views on economic weakness and the dangers inherent in the financial system and as a result our portfolios were positioned defensively throughout 2011," CEO Peter Grosskopf said.

"However, beginning in August, with the broad market sell-off, our performance suffered due to the declines in gold, silver and energy equities, which accelerated in the year end."

Many of Sprott's funds finished down in 2011, cutting performance fee income for the quarter to just C$2.5 million, a fraction of the C$199.1 million it earned the previous fourth quarter.

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