After reporting a net loss of $1.04 billion, or $3.84 per share, in second-quarter earnings, St. Louis-based Peabody Energy announced it would suspend its quarterly dividend, reduce production of steel-making coal and cut jobs.
The majority of the losses came from $900.8 million in impairment charges. As the company itself predicted last month, Peabody missed its forecasted adjusted loss of 61 cents—its losses per share without counting the impairment charges—and reported an adjusted loss of 65 cents per share.
Peabody announced it will cut a total of 550 positions throughout the company to offset the losses, including 50 of its 425 employees in its St. Louis headquarters. Peabody also announced a rollback in production of metallurgical, or steel-making, coal mining in Australia of 3 million tons.
The news further illustrates dire trends in the coal industry, as utility companies continue switching to use of natural gas, driving down coal prices.