UPDATE 2-Neo Material profit more than doubles, shares sag

Thu May 12, 2011 5:21pm GMT

* Q1 EPS $0.27 vs $0.10 year ago

* Shares down 1.89 pct at C$9.88 (Adds CEO comments, share price; in U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO May 12 (Reuters) - Shares of Neo Material Technologies NEM.TO fell as much as 7 percent on Thursday, despite the fact the rare earth company's first quarter profit more than doubled and easily beat analyst expectations.

The Toronto-based company reported a first quarter profit of $31.9 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with $12.4 million, or 10 cents a share, last year.

Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 20 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Neo Material shares fell as much as 7.1 percent to C$9.35 early Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, before rebounding to C$9.88, down 19 Canadian cents or 1.89 percent.

Fraser Mackenzie analyst Dev Bhangui said the drop could be due to a general retreat by rare earth and other resource companies, as well as some profit-taking on the stock, which is up almost threefold from a year low of C$3.31 in May of 2010.

Revenue rose 30 percent to $132.8 million compared with $65.1 million in the first quarter of 2010.

"I feel pretty good about the business," Chief Executive Constantine Karayannopoulos said in a conference call. "I feel pretty confident that the level of performance you are seeing will continue for the foreseeable future."   Continued...

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