Peabody Energy Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Peabody Energy Corp (NYSE:BTU) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Peabody Energy mines steam coal for sale mainly to electric utilities and metallurgical coal for sale to industrial customers.

Peabody Energy Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.31 per share, a rise of 54.1% 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 $1.30. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from $1.33 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 30.2% versus last year to $3.97.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company missed estimates by 2 cents, coming in at net income of 87 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 89 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by 7 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 28.6% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.34 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 15 analysts rating it as a buy, one rating it as a sell and one rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 22.3% to $274.1 million ($1 a share) from $224.1 million (83 cents a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 9.2% to $2.04 billion from $1.86 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 38.1% in the second quarter and 32% in the first quarter.

Revenue has gone up for three straight quarters. It rose 20.9% in the second quarter from the year earlier and 15.1% in the first quarter.

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

Stock Price Performance: During December 16, 2011 to January 18, 2012, the stock price had risen $3.40 (10.3%) from $32.98 to $36.38. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between August 22, 2011 and August 31, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 17.2% (+$7.14) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 11, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for 10-straight days, falling 18.9% (-$7.65) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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