Peabody Posts Weak Q1

(Gillette, Wyo.) Peabody Energy had a less than enthusiastic outcome at the start of the fiscal year. The company announced revenues of $1.46 billion — a 10 percent increase over the first quarter of 2017 — with $208.3 million in net of income taxes.

Net of income taxes is a figure that subtracts income taxes from the gross figure.

While the overall company performance showed gains over last year’s first quarter, the increase is attributed to its Australian operations. First quarter earnings in the U.S. were down $54 million over the same quarter last year.

According to a press release, the company said lower U.S. margins were driven by a decline in realized pricing and increased, short-term costs.

Demand for thermal coal in the U.S. declined 3 percent from the prior year, which the company attributed to increased gas and wind generation. Gas prices, which remain considerably low, continued to suppress coal demand.

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As a result, Powder River Basin coal consumption was mostly flat from March 2017 to March 2018. Revenues for the Powder River Basin mining operations were down $5 million in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, even though the company sold 1.4 million more tons this year.

Operating cost per ton in the PRB fell about $30,000 per ton.

This left earnings for the PRB down $17.2 million in the first quarter of 2018 over last year’s first quarter.

Thermal exports increased 28 percent over the prior year, showing a robust export market.

Originally from New Mexico, Killough began his career writing freelance for a weekly magazine in Albuquerque while completing his undergraduate degree. In addition to reporting on uranium mining in western New Mexico, he spent three years reporting in western North Dakota during the height of the oil boom. He can be reached at or 701-641-6603.