The shares of Randgold Resources (ISE: RRS.L) (NAS: GOLD) dived 6.4% to 6,950 today after the gold miner issued mixed third-quarter results.

The FTSE 100 member said revenue during July, August, and September improved 4% to $324 million compared with the same period last year, while earnings fell 1% to $121 million.

Randgold admitted its third-quarter performance lagged that of the prior quarter, with revenue down 7% and profit down 15% compared to April, May, and June. Lower production, decreased gold sales by volume, and power supply problems at one of the group's African mines all hindered the results.


Describing the Q3 figures as a "mixed bag," Mark Bristow, Rangold's chief executive, commented:

The challenges we faced are to be expected when you develop and run mines in remote parts of Africa and, as our record shows, we're more than capable of managing them. They should not cloud the real achievements of the quarter, particularly the fine performance by Loulo's underground mines and the rapid progress we continue to make at Kibali. Production and costs for the final quarter are forecast to again show significant improvements.

Prior to today, City experts reckoned Randgold was on course to deliver earnings of around $5.40 per share for 2012. That projection places the shares on a P/E of 20 -- a premium rating, but one backed perhaps by the company's $444 million cash hoard, potential to find more gold, and illustrious track record.

Indeed, the group's gold reserves have tripled to almost 30 million ounces during the last 10 years, and the share price has soared more than 20-fold during the same time. As Randgold shows, the gold-mining sector can be home to enormous, life-changing gains -- if your chosen miner strikes it rich!

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The article 25-Bagging Gold Miner Issues Results originally appeared on Fool.com.

Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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