Peabody swings to loss as coal prices plunge

Peabody swings to loss as coal prices plunge

Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE:BTU), the No. 1 coal producer in the U.S., posted Monday a wider loss in its September quarter as revenue fell across all the company’s segments.

The St. Louis, Missouri-based miner reported net loss from continuing operations of $154 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with income of $24 million a year earlier.

While sales of its primary commodity have shown some signs of a rebound, low natural-gas prices continue to pressure coal demand and pricing. Peabody also faces pressures abroad as prices of metallurgical coal, used for steelmaking, remain weak.

"In the face of challenging times for the coal industry, Peabody continues to control the controllable and take the necessary actions to best position the company through strong operating performance, solid operating cash flows, lower costs and reduced capital targets," chairman and CEO Gregory H. Boyce said in a statement.

U.S. mining revenue fell 2.7% to $1.02 billion, while revenue per ton increased slightly to $21.24. Revenue from Australian mining operations fell 4.1% to $676.3 million, with revenue per ton falling 13.4%.

In September, the company forecast a steeper per-share loss in the third quarter, but raised its adjusted Ebitda forecast for the second time on cost improvements and strong operating results.

Image courtesy of Peabody Energy.