Peabody Energy's stock jumps after earnings, buyback news

By The Associated Press

Peabody Energy Corp.'s shares jumped Tuesday after the nation's largest coal producer reported quarterly earnings and announced plans to reward its shareholders.

 

ST LOUIS (AP) — Peabody Energy Corp.'s shares jumped Tuesday after the nation's largest coal producer reported quarterly earnings and announced plans to reward its shareholders.

The St. Louis-based company, which emerged from bankruptcy protection in April, on Tuesday reported second-quarter net income of $98.7 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. It had profit of 21 cents per share. Losses, adjusted to account for discontinued operations, were 18 cents per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 89 cents per share.

Industry analysts, however, pointed to the company's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Peabody reported adjusted EBITDA of $317.8 million in the quarter. Analysts were expecting $267.6 million, according to FactSet.

The company posted revenue of $1.26 billion in the period, which was shy of Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.27 billion.

Peabody also said its board authorized a $500 million share buyback, starting immediately. The board is also considering a "sustainable dividend program" with an aim at starting in 2018's first quarter, the company said. Peabody currently does not pay cash dividends.

Its stock was up $1.94, or almost 7 percent, at $29.98 in afternoon trading.

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