CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite rebounding demand from steelmakers, mine operator Massey Energy Co. said its third-quarter earnings saw coking coal make up less of its shipments.
Coking or metallurgical coal accounted for 22 percent of shipments during the period, down from 24 percent in third-quarter 2008, Massey said. Revenue per ton of coking coal likewise dipped to $84.58 in the quarter, down from $97.47 a ton in 2008.
Several rivals have taken advantage of higher demand, particularly in China, where Massey says steel production rose 22 percent in August.
Massey said net income slumped to $16.5 million, or 19 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with $51.6 million, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier. Quarterly revenue declined to $641.6 million, from $763.3 million.
Richmond, Va.-based Massey operates mines in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
Overall, Massey said it sold 8.7 million tons in the quarter, down from 10.3 million a year earlier. The company estimated a fire that destroyed a southern West Virginia preparation plant in August cut production by 300,000 tons during the quarter.
Still, Chief Executive Don Blankenship said he is pleased the company increased its cash holdings to $640 million in the quarter, up from $609.6 million at the end of second quarter. The company also used $72 million in cash for an appeal bond stemming from a long-running legal dispute in West Virginia.
"We achieved the strong cash generation amid difficult conditions in the global coal markets and in spite of operating challenges resulting from a fire that destroyed a key preparation plant in August," Blankenship said in a statement.