Coal mining’s Alliance Resource Partners, L.P of Tulsa announced a more than 20 percent in earnings for the third quarter of 2018 compared to a year ago. Alliance is the second largest coal producer in the eastern part of the U.S. with eight underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia.
The earnings totaled $73.7 million for the quarter which was an increase of 20.3% compared to the $61.3 million at the end of the third quarter of 2017. For shareholders, it meant 55 cents a share compared to 52 cents per unit in the 2017 quarter.
Higher revenues and investment income got the credit as strong coal sales volumes in the quarter drove total revenues higher to $497.8 million. That’s an increase of 9.8% compared to the 2017 quarter.
Earnings before interest and taxes grew by 8.3% to reach $154 million, up from the $142.2 million a year earlier.
Joseph W. Craft III, President and Chief Executive Officer said things look good for the future as the company’s secured new commitments for nearly 11.1 million tons of coal to be delivered through 2021, including 4.9 million to be exported through next year.
Mr. Craft added, “ARLP remained focused on executing its strategic objectives of investing in our business for long-term cash flow growth and returning cash to unitholders. During the 2018 Quarter, we brought the second continuous mining unit into operation at our Gibson North mine and added the tenth continuous mining unit at our River View mine. These additions, along with additional efforts outlined below, will allow ARLP to increase future production to meet developing market opportunities. ARLP also continued to focus on returning cash to unitholders, first by the Board again electing to increase distributions to unitholders and, second, by executing on the recently authorized unit repurchase program. Under this program, through the end of the 2018 Quarter, ARLP has repurchased approximately 1.1 million units for approximately $21.1 million in open market transactions.”
Total revenues increased by 12.0% to $1.47 billion for the 2018 Period compared to the 2017 Period due primarily to increased coal sales volumes. For the 2018 Period, strong performances at River View and our Gibson County Complex mines, which includes the resumption of operations at Gibson North in the 2018 Period, drove total coal sales volumes up 8.1% to 30.0 million tons and production volumes higher by 6.6% to 30.1 million tons compared to the 2017 Period.
Increased coal sales volumes in the 2018 Period also led operating expenses higher to $896.8 million, an increase of 12.9% compared to the 2017 Period.
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