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Arch Coal’s 1Q15 Coal Shipments Down from 4Q14 Levels

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Appalachian coal shipments and revenues

Arch Coal (ACI) reported its 1Q15 earnings on April 21. During 1Q15, Arch Coal (ACI) shipped 3.0 million tons of Appalachian coal, which included 1.5 million tons of metallurgical (or met) coal and an equal quantity of Appalachian thermal coal. The shipments were lower than 1Q14’s and 4Q14’s 3.6 million tons. The average selling price for Appalachian coal dropped to $65.23 a ton, from $69.27 a ton in 4Q14 and $67.70 in 1Q14.

Overall, the Appalachian segment reported revenues of $195.7 million in 1Q15. Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) is the largest coal producer (KOL) in the region. Arch Coal runs seven mines in the Appalachian, producing both thermal and met coal.

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Powder River Basin coal shipments and revenues

Arch Coal reported 28.5 million tons of Powder River Basin (or PRB) coal shipments in 1Q15, compared with 29.3 million tons in 4Q14 and 25.7 million tons in 1Q14. The PRB region produces sub-bituminous–grade thermal coal.

The average selling price per ton for the company’s PRB coal came in at $13.48 in 1Q15, up from $12.86 in 4Q14 and $12.73 in 1Q14. Arch Coal (ACI) is the second biggest producer in the region after Peabody Energy (BTU). The company’s PRB revenues came in at $384.2 million.

Bituminous thermal

The segment includes ACI’s West Elk Mine in Colorado and Viper Mine in Illinois Basin. The segment shipped 1.6 million tons of coal in 1Q15, substantially down from 2.3 million tons in 4Q14 and 2.1 million tons in 1Q14.

However, the average selling price per ton increased to $33.42 from $31.22 in 4Q14. The segment reported revenues of $53.5 million. Natural Resource Partners (NRP) and Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) also operate in the Illinois Basin.

Total revenues

Arch Coal sold 33.1 million tons of coal at the average selling price of $19.18 a ton, clocking $677 million in revenues (including non-coal revenues), compared with $736 million in 1Q14 . The company had sold 35.2 million tons of coal in 4Q14 and 31.4 million tons in 1Q14.

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