The five largest US coal miners have reported a combined increase in third quarter earnings of $454 million and are looking for investors.
Alliance Resource Partners LP, Arch Coal Inc., Cloud Peak Energy Inc., Peabody Energy Corp. and Warrior Met Coal Inc. have reported a combined earnings, pre interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, of $801 million in the third quarter of 2017, with Peabody reporting its highest tally since 2012.
Companies with a clean balance sheet are now able to enjoy a period of higher seaborne prices of thermal coal and elevated prices, which is in part due to the increase in fossil fuel imports from China.
The US coal giants are using share buybacks and dividends to please shareholders. Peabody has repurchased $100 million in shares, while Arch has increased its buyback programme from $200 million to $500 million. Meanwhile, Warrior is paying $600 million as an additional special cash dividend this month, as well as its regular cash dividend of 5 cents per share.