Peabody falls as production issues, weather crimp coal sales

Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine (NARM). (Image courtesy of Peabody Energy)

Peabody Energy Corp. shares sunk to the lowest in seven months after the biggest US coal miner warned that first-quarter sales will be lower than expected due to production issues at mines in Australia and weak demand in the US.

Peabody expects to report revenue of $980 million for the quarter, according to a statement Thursday. Analysts had been expecting revenue of $1.03 billion for the period. Shares of the St. Louis-based company fell as much as 7.3% to its lowest since Sept. 11 before paring losses.

Shares traded at $22.68 as of 9:49 a.m. in New York, down 3.8%.

Warm winter weather and low natural gas prices ate into coal demand in the US as utilities continue to shift away from the dirtiest fossil fuel. Peabody also said its results were impacted by production issues at some mines in Australia that reduced output, and lower prices for some metallurgical coal.

“Our first quarter included some unforeseen production challenges that are now behind us,” Peabody chief executive officer Jim Grech said in the statement.

Coal may get a boost later this year. A government forecast released this week calls for hot summer temperatures that will boost residential electricity usage by almost 4%.

(By Will Wade)

Read More: Global coal power grew 2% last year, the most since 2016, survey says


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