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Natural Resource Partners (NRP) Down 7.6% Since Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Natural Resource Partners LP (NRP - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 7.6% in that time frame.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is NRP due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Natural Resource (NRP - Free Report) Q4 Earnings & Revenues Beat Estimates

Natural Resource Partners LP reported fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.31 per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 99 cents by 32.3%.

Total Revenues

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%.

Segment Details

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.

Financial Condition

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.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.

Natural Resource Partners LP Price and Consensus

VGM Scores

Currently, NRP has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum is doing a lot better with an A. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Zacks' style scores indicate that the company's stock is suitable for value and momentum investors.


NRP has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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