UPDATE 1-Goldcorp takes big impairment charge, operating earnings fall
July 25 (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc, the world's largest gold miner by market capitalization, posted a second quarter loss on Thursday as a sharp drop in the gold price cut into profits and the company recorded a $2 billion non-cash impairment charge. Goldcorp's net loss in the quarter was $1.9 billion, or $2.38 a share, compared with a profit of $268 million, or 41 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The Vancouver-based miner said the after-tax charge was primarily related to exploration potential at its Penasquito mine in Mexico, where lower metal prices have had a significant impact on the in situ market value. Gold prices have fallen sharply so far this year, hitting a near 3-year low of about $1,180 an ounce in late June. Goldcorp's realized gold price dropped 15 percent to $1,358 an ounce in the quarter, down from $1,596 a year ago. In light of the declining gold price, the company said it is reviewing its short-term operating plans and cutting 2013 capital spending by $200 million to $2.6 billion. Goldcorp will defer some spending through 2014 at its three mines under construction - Cerro Negro in Argentina and Eleonore and Cochenour in Quebec - but said the reductions are not expected to have a material impact on project timelines. The miner has also targeted a 10 percent cut to general and administrative costs in 2013, and reduced exploration spending by $25 million. Adjusted to remove one-time items, earnings were 14 cents a share, coming in below the average analyst expectation of 22 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue fell 18 percent to $889 million, despite a 17 percent increase in gold sales, as lower precious metal prices weighed. All-in sustaining costs were $1,279 an ounce in the quarter, while co-product cash costs rose 15 percent to $713 an ounce.