Arch Coal, Inc. Quarterly Earnings Sneak Peek

Arch Coal, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACI) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, July 29, 2011. Arch Coal, Inc. is a coal producer in the United States, which sells coal to power plants, steel mills and industrial facilities.

Arch Coal, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 63 cents per share, a rise of 46.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 62 cents. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $2.45 per share, a rise of more than twofold from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company beat estimates last quarter after falling short in the prior two. In the first quarter, the company reported net income of 36 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 32 cents per share. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company missed estimates by 14 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $955.6 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 25% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $4.56 billion for the year, a rise of 42.9% from last year’s revenue of $3.19 billion.

Analyst Ratings: 13 out of 22 analysts surveyed (59.1%) have a buy rating on Arch Coal.. This is below the mean analyst rating of 10 competitors, which average 62.3% buy ratings.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 29.5%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 42.2% from the year earlier quarter.

The company raised its gross margin by 2.5 percentage points in the in the first quarter. Revenue rose 22.6% while cost of sales rose 18.7% to $653.7 million from a year earlier.

Competitors to Watch: Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX), Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE:PCX), Massey Energy Company (NYSE:MEE), Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR), Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (NASDAQ:AHGP), Intl. Coal Group, Inc. (NYSE:ICO), James River Coal Company (NASDAQ:JRCC), Natural Resource Partners LP (NYSE:NRP), and Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ:ARLP).

Stock Price Performance: During April 28, 2011 to July 25, 2011, the stock price had fallen $5.09 (-15.2%) from $33.39 to $28.30. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between July 28, 2010 and August 6, 2010 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 20.3% (+$4.38) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between August 17, 2010 and August 26, 2010 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 13.5% (-$3.33) over that span. Shares are down $6.52 (-18.7%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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