Alliance Holdings GP, L.P.
) announced fourth-quarter 2012 operating earnings of 88 cents
per unit, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8 cents. The
results of the partnership were a penny higher than the year-ago
earnings of 87 cents per unit.
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Alliance Holdings' 2012 operating earnings were $3.28 per unit
down by 8.3% from $3.58 per unit reported in 2011. The annual
performance was lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.41
The year-over-year decline in earnings was due to losses and
charges related to
Alliance Resource Partners L.P.
) idling of the Pontiki mine, including a non-cash asset
impairment of $19.0 million and a decline in shipments to the
metallurgical export markets.
Total revenues at the end of the fourth quarter were $549.3
million versus $474.6 million in the year-ago period, which
reflects an increase of 15.7%.
Quarterly revenue was higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
The partnership generated total revenue of $2,033.9 million in
2012, 10.3% higher than $1,843.2 million reported in 2011.
Highlights of the Release
Total operating expenses of the partnership during the quarter
were $443.1 million, up 14.9% from $385.4 million incurred in the
year-ago period. This was primarily due to a 46.6% increase in
depreciation, deletion and amortization expenses.
Despite an increase in operating expenses, operating margin in
the fourth quarter expanded 60 basis points from the comparable
prior-year period. The top-line improvement boosted margins in
the quarter under review.
The partnership also hiked its quarterly cash distribution rate
to 74 cents per unit, up 2.8% sequentially from 72 cents and
higher 16.1% year over year from 63.75 cents.
Other Coal Company Releases
) reported an operating loss of $1.12 per share in the fourth
quarter, coming significantly below the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of earnings of 26 cents. Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.
reported earnings of $1.87 per unit in the fourth quarter,
surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.32 for the quarter.
Alliance Holdings' only assets are its ownership interests in
Alliance Resource Partners. Despite a very challenging 2012, the
latter was able to secure long-term commitments to sell 31.7
million tons of coal through 2018, which will definitely be a big
plus for the partnerships.
The partnership currently retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We
currently have a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy) on
Natural Resource Partners LP
), which is yet to release its fourth quarter results.
Based in Tulsa, OK, Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., produces and
supplies coal to utilities and for industrial usage primarily in
the U.S. The partnership has 3,832 employees and operates
ten underground mining facilities.