What happened

Shares of Yamana Gold (AUY) lost their luster as the new year began, falling by 2.4% in January. But it didn't take long for investors to warm back up to the gold producer. According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, shares of Yamana Gold rose 18.9% in February.

The precious metals miner's fourth-quarter results contributed to that upswing, but investors also clicked the buy button in response to management's auspicious near-term guidance, as well as the upswing in the price of gold.

So what

For Q4, Yamana Gold exceeded its forecast and reported a company record for quarterly production: 281,388 gold equivalent ounces (GEO). While it recognized strong production at several assets, its Jacobina mine in Brazil shined a little brighter than the others, achieving a new high-water mark with quarterly production of 48,228 GEO.

High output, combined with the company's success in trimming its quarterly all-in sustaining costs to their lowest level of 2021, led to the company reporting a quarterly record $238.2 million in operating cash flow.

Gold nuggets on black sand.

Image source: Getty Images.

Beyond the company's fourth-quarter performance, management's guidance was encouraging. While Yamana Gold expects production of 1 million GEO in 2022 (flat compared to 2021), production is expected to rise to 1.03 million GEO in 2023 and 1.06 million GEO in 2024.

The rising price of gold represented another catalyst for the stock last month. Gold crossed the $1,900 per ounce mark in February, and by the end of the month, it had risen by 6.4% from where it was at the end of January.

Now what

It's unsurprising that shares of this miner spiked higher last month considering the numerous records it set in the fourth quarter and that the price of gold rose sharply. Given its consistently strong operating performance and its commitment to rewarding shareholders, Yamana Gold should certainly be on the watch lists of investors interested in the precious metals space.