Peabody Energy Q1 Profit Up

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Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, said its first-quarter profit rose to $176.5 million, or 65 cents a share, compared with $133.7 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier as revenue climbed 15% to $1.74 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of 61 cents on revenue of $1.75 billion.

Missouri-based Peabody (BTU) said it expects an adjusted second-quarter profit of 85 cents-$1.10 a share and a full-year profit of $3.50-$4.50. The company's full-year production target remains 245 million to 265 million tons of coal. Despite the various storms that hit Australia in the first quarter, Peabody said volumes there were strong and will remain so in the current quarter.

''Peabody is advancing multiple growth initiatives to serve the high-growth Asian markets. During the quarter, we made significant progress on a number of Australian mine expansions, entered into Chinese development agreements, expanded Indonesian supply sources, and announced a major throughput agreement for a proposed Western U.S. export facility, CEO Gregory Boyce said in a statement issued by the company.

Revenue per ton in Australia surged 43% thanks to higher prices for metallurgical coal seaborne thermal shipments. Peabody has the largest presence in Australia of any U.S. coal miner.