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Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (CLD - Snapshot Report) reported earnings of 30 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2013, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 25 cents by 20.0% but way below the year-ago earnings of 54 cents by 44.4%.

Earnings of 73 cents for 2013 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents by 7.4% but lagged 2012 earnings by 66.0%

Including tax agreement expense of 1 cent and 13 cents from derivative financial instrument, the GAAP earnings for 2013 were 85 cents.

Operational Highlights

Cloud Peak’s quarterly revenue of $353 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.1% and decreased 5.8% from $375 million in the year-ago quarter.

Reported revenues for 2013 stood at $1.4 billion, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.5% and decreasing nearly 8.0% from the 2012 figure.

Total tons of coal sold in the reported quarter were 22.7 million compared with 24.3 million in the prior-year quarter, and 89.1 million in 2013 compared with 93.0 million in 2012.

Adjusted earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $62.1 million in the fourth quarter, down 30.2% year over year. For 2013, EBITDA was $218.6 million, down 35.5% from 2012. The downtrend was mainly blamed on a brutal winter and weak rail services in the fourth quarter, partly offset by cost control practices and a reduction in capital expenditure.

Segment Highlights

Owned and Operated Mines

Shipments from its three operated mines totaled 21.7 million tons versus 23.6 million tons in the fourth quarter of 2012, and 86.0 million in 2013 versus 90.6 million tons in 2012. The decline in coal shipments in the reported quarter as well as the full year was due to unfavorable weather, weak rail service and production interruptions.

21.7 million tons of coal were sold at $13.16 per ton versus $13.07 per ton in the year-ago quarter.

Logistics and Related Activities

Total tons of coal delivered were 1.3 million, in line with the year-ago quarter. During the quarter, Asian exports were approximately 1.1 million tons compared with 0.9 million tons in the fourth quarter of 2012. The higher Asian exports can be attributed to greater customer demand and the company's focus on the Westshore terminal in increasing vessel loadings

Financial Update

As of Dec 31, 2013, cash and cash equivalents were $231.6 million, up from $197.7 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Senior notes as of Dec 31, 2013, were $597.0 million, compared with $596.5 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

In 2013, cash from operating activities was $180.7 million compared with $247.4 million in 2012.

Capital expenditure for fourth quarter was reported at $57.0 million. Free cash flow in 2013 was $123.7 million.


For 2014, Cloud Peak Energy expects coal shipments from three owned and operated mines in the range of 86 million to 92 million tons, of which 77 million tons is committed with weighted-average price of $13.18 per ton.

The company estimates capital expenditure to fall in the range of $40 million to $60 million. Adjusted EBITDA is expected in the range of $180 million to $220 million.

For 2015, the company has committed 47 million tons of coal shipments from three owned and operated mines, of which 33 million tons falls under a fixed-price contract with a weighted-average price of $13.61 per ton.

Other Company Releases

Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (ARLP - Snapshot Report) announced fourth quarter 2013 earnings of $1.85 per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16.4%.

CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX - Analyst Report) reported earnings of 3 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2013, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 7 cents.

Arch Coal Inc. (ACI - Analyst Report) reported fourth quarter 2013 adjusted loss of 45 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 36 cents.

Zacks Rank

The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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