Arch Coal Goes Negative

Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI  ) reported earnings on Feb. 5. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Arch Coal missed estimates on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue contracted significantly and GAAP earnings per share shrank to a loss.

Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
Arch Coal tallied revenue of $968.2 million. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see revenue of $997.3 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 21% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.23 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.42. The 22 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted -$0.14 per share. GAAP EPS were -$1.39 for Q4 against $0.28 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 16.4%, 590 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 2.0%, 730 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -30.5%, 3,530 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $961.5 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.29.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $4.02 billion. The average EPS estimate is -$0.81.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,486 members out of 1,562 rating the stock outperform, and 76 members rating it underperform. Among 334 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 318 give Arch Coal a green thumbs-up, and 16 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Arch Coal is hold, with an average price target of $8.29.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2013, at 9:15 PM, mr091468 wrote:

    Thank that thug in the white house and his backers who control his agenda, including hating the coal industry and its workers, for this devastation.

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