Gold Fields (GFIJ.J) Q3 results Thursday, May 7

* Harmony Gold (HARJ.J) Q3 results Friday, May 8 * AngloGold Ashanti (ANGJ.J) Q1 results May 15 By James Macharia JOHANNESBURG, May 4 (Reuters) - Africa's top three goldproducers are expected to report big jumps in earnings and cashflow for their quarters to March, largely boosted by a strongergold price, which outweighed lower output and higher costs. The price of gold in the quarter averaged $908 per ounce, up14 percent on the previous quarter. "We expect a very strong showing from the South Africa goldproducers for (calendar) Q1 2009," said Leon Esterhuizen, aLondon-based precious metals analyst at RBC Capital Markets. Looking forward, analysts were concerned about rising costs,especially in view of a less bullish outlook for gold in thecomings months. South Africa's mineworkers' unions have demanded a 15percent rise in wages, well above inflation at 8.5. Labour costs make up about half of gold producer's costs,while the falling costs of fuel and steel have yet to make adramatic impact in whittling down overall costs. GOLD FIELDS Gold Fields (GFIJ.J), the No. 4 producer in the world andNo. 2 in Africa, is expected to post an adjusted headlineearnings per share of 201 South African cents in its thirdquarter, according to a Reuters poll of five analysts, versus 83cents in the December quarter. Analysts generally expect Gold Fields' total cash costs forthe three months to the end of March to be three percent lowerthan $470 per ounce in the previous quarter They were disappointed when Gold Fields announced in Marchthat it had revised its production target for the quarter to871,000 ounces from 960,000 ounces, due to problems at some ofits mines. "The key thing we want to see is what action has the grouptaken to boost output at its Beatrix (South Africa) and Tarkwa(Ghana) mines, which missed their targets," said Shoaib Vayej, aCape Town-based gold analyst at Sanlam Investment Management. Headline earnings are the key profit measure in SouthAfrica, stripping out capital, non-trading and someextraordinary items. Gold Fields earnings are adjusted toexclude the effects of financial instruments and foreign debt. HARMONY Harmony (HARJ.J), which is the No.5 producer in the worldand No.3 in Africa, will see its headline earnings per sharejump to 141 cents for its third quarter to the end of March from101 cents in the previous quarter, according to a Reuters pollof five analysts. "We forecast a 5 percent fall in Harmony's gold productionto 344,000 ounces at cash operating costs of $545 ounces, upthree percent," JP Morgan analysts Allan Cooke and SteveShepherd said in a note. Sanlam analyst Vayej said that with output not hitting theexpected level, Harmony may have to push forward its target ofproducing 2.2 million ounces a year by 2012. Analysts said they were keen to see if the company hadmanaged to improve output at its struggling Elandsrand andTarget mines. ANGLOGOLD AngloGold (ANGJ.J), the world's No. 3 and Africa's topproducer, is expected to post adjusted headline earnings pershare of 42 U.S. cents in its first quarter to the end of March,versus a loss of 5 cents in the previous quarter, according tothe average of estimates from five analysts in a Reuters poll. AngloGold, which has sold some of its mines to boost itsbalance sheet, will be reporting its first quarter afterterminating half the hedge book in 2008. "We believe further asset sales and even further hedge bookreductions to be high probabilities," RBC analyst Esterhuizensaid. Analysts will be eager for news on whether AngloGold willrevamp or sell its underperforming Geita mine in Tanzania. AngloGold has forecast a 13 percent fall in output to 1.1million ounces from the previous quarter, partly due to problemsat Geita, and for total cash costs to be up 8 percent to $455per ounce. Below is a summary of analysts' earnings forecasts, in SouthAfrican cents per share for Gold Fields and Harmony and in U.S.cents per share for AngloGold: COMPANY AVERAGE RANGE DEC QTR RESULTS -------- ------- --------- --------------- GOLD FIELDS 201 149 - 203 83 HARMONY 141 129 - 160 101 ANGLOGOLD 42 33 - 51 -5 (Reporting by James Macharia; editing by Karen Foster)