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SilverCrest Has "Plenty Of Catalysts" On The Horizon, Says Stonecap Securities

Stonecap Securities analyst Christos Doulis kept his outperform rating and $3.85 price target on SilverCrest Mines (CVE:SVL) Thursday, a day after the silver producer announced record silver output in its fourth quarter.

The company, which produces from its Santa Elena mine in Mexico, produced 154,000 ounces of silver, and 7,831 ounces of gold in the latest three-month period, compared to third quarter production of 151,000 ounces of silver and 7,184 ounces of gold.

Total full year production was 580,000 ounces of silver, significantly beating revised guidance of 535,000 ounces, and exceeding the company's initial forecast of 435,000 ounces by 33%. Gold production came in at 33,000 ounces, in line with guidance.

Looking ahead to 2013, SilverCrest said it expects production of 625,000 ounces of silver and 33,000 ounces of gold, at cash costs of $8.50 per silver equivalent ounce.

Management also provided guidance for $65.5 million in capital expenditures at Santa Elena and $10.5 million in exploration and property acquisition payments at its La Joya development-stage property.

It is targeting year-end 2013 for the completion of its new mill facility, with commercial production expected from here in the first quarter of next year.

SilverCrest is undertaking a three-year expansion plan at Santa Elena in a bid to double metals production.

"We continue to maintain that at current share prices, investors are getting the Santa Elena mine for a good price and are paying nothing for SilverCrest's La Joya project," Doulis reaffirms.

"SilverCrest has plenty of catalysts on the horizon with updated resource estimates for both Santa Elena and La Joya expected this quarter, to be followed by a pre-feasibility study for the underground expansion at Santa Elena."

Shares in the silver miner are changing hands at $2.69, up almost 2% today.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.