Peabody expects third quarter to be hit by lower demand, prices

FILE PHOTO: The logo and trading information for U.S. coal miner Peabody Energy Corp. are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Coal producer Peabody Energy Corp said on Thursday it expected third-quarter earnings to be lower than the second quarter due to lower demand and prices as well as a delay in ramping up production at its Queensland mine in Australia.

Peabody’s warning comes just months after the company said it expects progressive rise in both seaborne thermal and metallurgical coal volumes in the second half of the year.

Analysts on average had expected the company to post revenue of $1.21 billion in the third quarter, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company said the delay in ramping up production at the Middlemount joint venture mine in Queensland was due to a highwall failure and fatality in late June.

The delay will result in third-quarter earnings being $30 million to $35 million lower than the second.

While Peabody confirmed its full-year forecasts, it warned that recent trends suggest capital expenditure and seaborne coal volumes are likely to come in at the lower end of its annual target range.

The market for seaborne coal often grabs attention as it is more visible to investors, traders and even environmentalists opposed to coal mining.

Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur