Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU - Free Report) announced fourth-quarter 2018 earnings of 88 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents by 29.4%.
Quarterly revenues of $1,397.1 million fell 7.9% from $1,517.1 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to 43% lower metallurgical volumes, lack of production from North Goonyella, and 6% decline in U.S. thermal volumes.
However, the reported revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,384 million by 0.9%.
Peabody Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
The company’s total sales volume was 46.2 million tons, down from 49.8 million tons registered in the year-ago quarter. Sales volume during the quarter was impacted by lower mining operations in the United States.
Operating costs and expenses incurred in the reported quarter decreased 5.9% to $1,021 million from $1,085.7 million in the prior-year period.
Revenues per ton in the United States inched down 1.9% year over year to $18.03 and cost per ton also dropped 0.8% to $14.36.
Operating profit in fourth-quarter 2018 was $126.8 million compared with $301.7 million in the year-ago period.
During the quarter, the company completed the acquisition of Shoal Creek Mine, which is reflected in its seaborne metallurgical mining results.
As of Dec 31, 2018, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $981.9 million compared with $1,012.1 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
Long-term debt of the company was $1,330.5 million as of Dec 31, 2018, down from the 2017-end level of $1,418.7 million.
Free cash flow in the reported quarter was $164.5 million compared with $441.2 million in the year-ago period.
Peabody Energy repurchased $135 million stock in the fourth quarter and subsequently bought back an additional $75 million shares in January 2019. Since August 2017, the company repurchased a total of $1.09 billion under its expanded $1.5-billion share repurchase program.
Peabody Energy expects 2019 total U.S. sales volume within 133.5-145.5 million short tons and export thermal coal in the range of 11.5-12.5 million short tons.
The company expects capital expenditure in the range of $375-$425 million for 2019.
Currently, Peabody Energy carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Another Coal Release
Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (ARLP - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 69 cents per unit, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 74 cents by 6.8%.
Upcoming Coal Releases
Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH - Free Report) is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings on Feb 14, 2019. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $3.28 per share.
Hallador Energy Company (HNRG - Free Report) is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings on Mar 11, 2019. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter to be reported is pegged at 10 cents per share.
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