Natural Resource Partners LP (NRP - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.31 per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 99 cents by 32.3%.
Natural Resource Partners LP Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
In the quarter under review, Natural Resource Partners’ total revenues of $101.1 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $90 million by 12.3% and the year-ago revenues by 14.7%.
The Coal Royalty and Other segment’s revenues and other income (excluding gains on asset sales) in the fourth quarter increased 16.6% year over year to $47.5 million.
The Construction Aggregates segment’s revenues in the fourth quarter were $30.6 million, up nearly 10.8% from the prior-year quarter.
Highlights of the Release
In the fourth quarter, coal royalty from Appalachia increased $2.9 million year over year primarily as a result of increased metallurgical coal prices and production. Higher prices and production in this region led to $1.5 million increase from the year-ago quarter in coal royalty revenues in the Northern Powder River Basin. In the Illinois Basin, lower production led to $4.1 million decrease in coal royalty revenues.
Total operating expenses in the reported quarter were down 16.2% to $51.1 million from $61 million in the prior-year quarter.
Interest expenses dropped 17.2% to $19.3 million from $23.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
Natural Resource Partners had cash and cash equivalents of $29.8 million as of Dec 31, 2017, down from $40.4 million as of Dec 31, 2016.
The partnership continues to lower outstanding debt levels. Long-term debt was $729.6 million as of Dec 31, 2017, down from $987.4 million as of Dec 31, 2016.
In 2017, cash from operating activities was $127.8 million, up 18.4% from $107.9 million in the prior-year.
Natural Resource Partners carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of the Peers
Other operators in the Zacks Coal industry are Arch Coal (ARCH - Free Report) , Peabody Coal Corporation (BTU - Free Report) ) and SunCoke Energy (SXC - Free Report) , which surpassed their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate in fourth-quarter earnings.
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