April 29--Coal miner Alliance Resource Partners L.P. on Monday reported another quarter of record production and profits.
The Tulsa-based company reported that net income rose 12.6 percent to a record $115.9 million for the first quarter of 2014, and said it is on track to post its 14th consecutive year of record results.
Alliance units rose $3.41, or 3.9 percent, to close at $90.02 on Monday.
Alliance said its first-quarter results were helped by its Tunnel Hill Mine in Appalachia performing above expectations.
The record profits were achieved despite weather-related transportation disruptions at three of its Illinois Basin mines during the winter and the shutdown of the Pontiki Mine in Eastern Kentucky because of weak coal demand.
Alliance's eight Illinois Basin mines produced almost 7.5 million tons during the first quarter, down 2.9 percent from a year ago. However, average sales prices were up 47 cents per ton, to $52.42.
Future results will be helped by the start of production at its new Gibson South underground mine near Princeton, Ind.
The board of the company, which is a master limited partnership, agreed to increase the cash distribution to its unit holders (similar to dividends for shareholders) and announced a two-for-one split of Alliance's common units that will double the number held by each unit holder.
For the year, Alliance is forecasting net income of $400 million to $460 million, up from $393.5 million last year.
Alliance's 10 mines include the Riverview Mine in Union County, the Dotiki Mine in Webster and Hopkins counties and the Onton No. 9 Mine in Webster County, among others.
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