Peabody posts $777M loss for 2014, narrows fourth-quarter gap

Peabody Energy posted a larger loss in 2014 than it did in 2013, but the St. Louis-based coal company narrowed its fourth-quarter losses compared to last year.

The company reported a net loss of $777.3 million for 2014 when it released its fourth quarter and yearly earnings Tuesday, compared to a net loss of $512 million in 2013. However, Peabody’s net loss of $513 million in the fourth quarter was less than its $561.2 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The company reported a loss of $1.21 per share for the fourth quarter of 2014, worse then analyst’s expectations of a loss of 35 cents per share.

The coal miner reported 2014 revenues of $6.79 billion, down from $7.01 billion in 2013 and about $8 billion in 2012. It met analyst expectations with revenues of $1.68 billion for the quarter.

During Peabody’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Greg Boyce and COO Glenn Kellow — who, the company announced last week, will succeed the retiring Boyce in May — cited increased rail shipping costs in the U.S., lower natural gas costs and mild weather as some of the reasons that demand for coal has declined.

“The year 2014 was a turbulent year for the coal markets as slowing near-term demand growth resulted in continued coal price declines,” Boyce said. “Looking forward, we see 2015 U.S. coal demand declining 50 to 60 tons due to lower natural gas prices.”

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