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Cloud Peak Energy cuts 2016 coal shipment view, reports wider Q1 loss

PowderRiver Basin coal producer Cloud PeakEnergy Inc. on April 28 reported that its first-quarter net loss widenedto $36.4 million and that it was reducing its full-year coal shipment guidance giventhe slow start to the year.

Revenuedropped to $181.2 million from $317.6 million in the first quarter of 2015. Shipmentsin the quarter fell to 13 million tons from 19.7 million tons. The company's lossper share widened to 59 cents from 8 cents in the year ago-period.

The company'sadjusted earnings per share excluding gains and losses on derivatives and otheritems was a loss of 53 cents a share. The S&P Capital IQ normalized consensusestimate for the period was a loss of 17 cents per share.

Presidentand CEO Colin Marshall blamed the wider loss on unseasonable weather that has keepcoal piles at utilities persistently high. "Unfortunately, just when we didnot need it, we have experienced one of the mildest winters on record. PRB coalshipments were down around 34% as our utility customers had full stockpiles, burnedlow price natural gas, and slowed shipments well below their contracted rates,"he said.

"Oursites did a very good job of controlling costs during the quarter, which is difficultto do in such a high-fixed cost business. While the second quarter is also expectedto be slow, we do expect shipments to pick up significantly in the second half ofthe year as summer cooling demand increases coal burn," he added.

CloudPeak reduced the 2016 shipment guidance for its three mines to between 60 millionand 65 million tons, compared to an earlier estimateof between 64 million and 70 million tons.

The company is proactively working to address the ongoing regulatoryuncertainties regarding self-bonding programs in Wyoming by seeking to voluntarilytransition away from self-bonding.