Peabody takes US$30M hit on TC Debbie

PEABODY Energy’s first quarter revenues rose 29% to US$1.33 billion, driven by a 26% increase in Powder River Basin shipments and 17% rise in Western sales volumes. However, the company will take a $30 million earnings hit because of Tropical Cyclone Debbie’s impact on its Australian operations.
Peabody takes US$30M hit on TC Debbie Peabody takes US$30M hit on TC Debbie Peabody takes US$30M hit on TC Debbie Peabody takes US$30M hit on TC Debbie Peabody takes US$30M hit on TC Debbie

Lou Caruana

The US-based miner revised its full-year financial targets to reflect higher metallurgical coal volumes even in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie in Australia, Peabody CEO Glenn Kellow said.

The company is also retaining the Metropolitan hard coking coal mine and its associated 16.67% interest in Port Kembla Coal Terminal in the company's portfolio, after proposed purchaser South32 could not get regulatory clearance and terminated the purchase contract last month.

"Peabody's first quarter results were significantly improved over the prior year across the platform, reflecting sharply higher coal demand in the US and expanded Australian margins for both thermal and metallurgical coal," Kellow said.

"Whilst several temporary issues in Australia prevented the quarter from meeting our full potential, our performance was greatly improved with excellent cash generation from our operations. We look forward to advancing with a strengthened balance sheet, rebounding shipments in Queensland, and retention of the Metropolitan Mine in New South Wales."

The company reported 139% and 44% average revenue-per-ton increases in Australian metallurgical and thermal coal, respectively. 

First quarter 2017 net income attributable to common stockholders increased $287.2 million to $122.1 million, and reflected $93.3 million in lower interest expense associated with the impact of interest under certain debt instruments being stayed during the Chapter 11 proceedings, partly offset by $61.3 million in reduced tax benefits. 

Quarterly income from continuing operations net of income taxes increased $292.7 million to $131 million, led by a 29% increase in revenues that outpaced a 5% increase in operating costs and expenses. 

First quarter adjusted earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation rose to $390 million, a $304.9 million increase over the first quarter of 2016.