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Pinetree Capital Ltd. Announces Financial Results For The Three Months And Year Ended December 31, 2008


March 5, 2009

TORONTO, Ontario  – Pinetree Capital Ltd. (“Pinetree”) (TSX: PNP) today announces its financial results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2008.

During the fourth quarter, Pinetree generated a net loss of $93.6 million, as compared to a net loss of $2.2 million in the same quarter last year.  The net loss was primarily due to net investment losses of $104.3 million in the quarter, comprised of realized losses on dispositions of investments of $3.0 million, unrealized losses on investments of $99.1 million and losses from equity accounted investments of $2.2 million, offset principally by a $13.9 million recovery of income taxes.  Loss per share was $0.71 as compared to a loss per share of $0.02 in the three months ended December 31, 2007.

For the year ended December 31, 2008, Pinetree generated a net loss of $356.0 million, as compared to a net loss of $91.6 million last year.  The net loss was primarily due to net investment losses of $428.7 million in the year, comprised of realized losses on dispositions of investments of $4.6 million, unrealized losses on investments of $417.9 million and loss from equity accounted investments of $6.2 million, offset principally by a $92.7 million recovery of income taxes.  The unrealized losses on investments included a write-down of Pinetree’s private company investments of $36.6 million, representing an approximately 75% reduction in the fair value of the Company’s private company portfolio in order to reflect management’s view of the value of these investments in light of general adverse market conditions.  Loss per common share was $2.92 as compared to a loss per share of $0.94 in the year ended December 31, 2007.

The composition of Pinetree’s investment portfolio (accounted for at fair value) by sector as at December 31, 2008, as compared to the end of the prior quarter and year is outlined in the following table: 

           

 

December 31, 2008

September 30, 2008

December 31, 2007

Sector

($’000)

% of Total

($’000)

% of Total

($’000)

% of Total

Resources:

           

        Precious Metals

50,540

37.7

75,716

32.4

240,479

40.6

        Uranium

26,953

20.1

44,276

18.9

118,384

20.0

        Base Metals

23,529

17.6

44,069

18.8

72,874

12.3

        Oil & Gas

10,066

7.5

18,988

8.1

45,543

7.7

        Molybdenum

3,159

2.4

18,171

7.8

50,506

8.5

        Potash and Rare Earths

3,658

2.7

5,410

2.3

17,052

2.9

Total Resources

117,905

88.0

206,630

88.3

544,838

92.0

Technology/Other

8,205

6.1

15,394

6.6

23,805

4.0

Biotechnology

5,493

4.1

7,416

3.2

11,400

2.0

Energy Related Technology

2,366

1.8

4,547

1.9

11,996

2.0

As at December 31, 2008, total investments at fair value stood at $134.0 million as compared to $592.0 million as at December 31, 2007 and the number of investments decreased to 427 from 487 at the end of the last year.  Of the 427 investments, 374 or 87.5% (December 31, 2007 – 88.7%), were in the resource sector, reflecting Pinetree’s continued focus on resources.  

Net asset value per share decreased to $1.33 as at December 31, 2008 from $4.20 as at December 31, 2007.  

“The junior resource space in which we are primarily focused has been especially hurt as the broad market concerns over the economy, credit tightening, declines in commodity prices, and an overall reduction in market activity led to significant declines in the share prices of resource issuers”, said Sheldon Inwentash, Chairman and CEO of Pinetree.  “This is reflected in our net loss for the year and led to our decision to reduce the fair value of our privately-held investments. “

About Pinetree

Pinetree Capital Ltd. ("Pinetree") was incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario and its shares are publicly-traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) under the symbol “PNP”.  Pinetree is a diversified investment and merchant banking firm focused on the small cap market.  Pinetree’s investments are primarily in the resources sector: Uranium, Oil & Gas, Molybdenum, Precious Metals, Potash and Rare Earths, and Base Metals.  Pinetree’s investment approach is to develop a macro view of a sector, build a position consistent with the view by identifying micro-cap opportunities within that sector, and devise an exit strategy designed to maximize our relative return in light of changing fundamentals and opportunities.

For more details about Pinetree and its investments, please visit our website at www.pinetreecapital.com

Use of Non-GAAP Measures

“Net asset value per share” is a non-GAAP measure defined as shareholders’ equity divided by the total number of common shares of Pinetree outstanding. The term net asset value per share does not have any standardized meaning according to GAAP and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. We believe that the measure provides information useful to our shareholders in understanding our performance, facilitates the comparison of the quarterly and year-end results of our ongoing operations and provides a meaningful measure to evaluate our business relative to that of our peers.

Investor Relations:                                                                  

Larry Goldberg, C.A.                                                                            

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer                              

Pinetree Capital Ltd.                                                                             

130 King Street West, Suite 2500
                                                           

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5X 1A9                                                      

Phone: 416-941-9600                                                                            

Email: ir@pinetreecapital.com                                                                     

Web Site: www.pinetreecapital.com

©Copyright 2012 Pinetree Capital Ltd.