Consol Energy Inc.'s (CNX) second-quarter profit jumped 16% on higher-than-expected coal sales.
Increased coal production and surging prices have helped Consol's bottom line lately as coal producers continue to gain from robust global demand. The company continues to focus on natural gas production, announcing last month it would close one of its idled Western Pennsylvania coal mines to focus on more profitable coal and Marcellus shale gas operations.
Moody's Investors Service, which raised its outlook on Consol earlier this month, said higher steam-coal prices have allowed the company a stronger-than-expected cash flow following its $3.47 billion acquisition of the gas operations of Dominion Resources Inc. last year.
Earlier this month, the company boosted its full-year projection for total coal production to a range of 62 million to 63 million tons. For the third quarter, Consol expects total coal production between 14.4 million and 14.8 million tons.
Consol posted a profit of $77.4 million, or 34 cents a share, up from $66.7 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-ago period included 16 cents in charges. Revenue rose 23% to $1.59 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected a per-share profit of 80 cents on $1.41 billion in revenue.
In the coal division, Consol's biggest top-line contributor, revenue jumped 88%. The company reported earlier coal production of 15.4 million tons.
In the gas division, revenue increased 0.7% and earnings decreased 49% on lower realized gas prices as total production rose 18%.
Shares closed at $52.91 on Wednesday and were inactive premarket. The stock has gained 37% over the past 12 months.
-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; firstname.lastname@example.org