Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 operating loss of 10 cents per share, which was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 20 cents by 50%.
GAAP loss in the reported quarter was 57 cents against earnings of $4.44 per share in the year-ago period.
Total revenues in the reported quarter amounted to $549.5 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $487 million by 12.7%. However, the figure declined 15.6% on a year-over-year basis due to lower sales volumes, and reduction in cash margin per ton in the Metallurgical and Other Thermal segment.
In the Metallurgical segment, the company sold 2 million tons of coal compared with the prior-year figure of 2.1 million tons. It recorded cash margins of $20.49 per ton compared with $46.69 in the year-ago quarter, owing to lower sales price.
During the quarter, the Powder River Basin segment’s cash margin per ton improved 12.3% from the prior-year period to $1.37. The company sold 18.1 million tons, down from the year-ago figure of 19.5 million tons.
In the Other Thermal segment, its cash margin was $3.60 per ton, down 41.3% from $6.13 in the year-ago quarter. Shipments also declined 8.7% year over year to 2.1 million tons.
Highlights of the Release
During 2019, Arch Coal invested $103 million in the Leer South mine development and expects to invest another $220 million in 2020. Total capex for Leer South is projected between $360 million and $390 million. The company is on track to commence longwall operations at the new mine in third-quarter 2021. This mine will produce very high quality coking coal, which will allow it to cater to rising demand globally.
During the quarter, Arch Coal bought back $10.5 million shares and made dividend payments totaling $8.0 million. In the last 11 quarters, the company has bought back a total of 10.1 million shares or 40% of its initial shares outstanding and returned a total of $913.3 million, including dividends, to its shareholders.
Cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2019 were $153.1 million compared with $264.9 million at the end of 2018.
Long-term debt as of Dec 31, 2019 was $290.1 million compared with $300.2 million at the end of 2018.
Cash provided from operating activities in 2019 was $419.7 million compared with $417.9 million a year ago.
Arch Coal expects coking coal volume for 2020 in the range of 6.8-7.2 million tons and total sales volume within 82.8-87.2 million tons.
Arch Coal currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 20 cents per unit, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
SunCoke Energy Inc. (SXC - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 loss of 2 cents per share against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings of 3 cents.
Peabody Energy (BTU - Free Report) incurred fourth-quarter 2019 loss of 55 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 97 cents.
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