February 22, 2018 Read More →

Westmoreland Coal Teetering on the Brink

KTVQ (Billings):

Since 2015, six of the nation’s top coal producers have declared bankruptcy and now another industry giant is teetering on the brink.

Westmoreland Coal, which owns coal mines in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Texas and Alberta and Saskatchewan, in Canada, is on the edge of insolvency, according to a new report this month from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The report details how the fortunes of the coal giant have turned sour and suggests the company is in serious trouble.

Westmoreland is the sixth largest North American coal producer with $1.5 billion in revenue in 2016 and 3,200 employees.

But it’s been losing money quarter after quarter as far back as 2012. Over the past 12 months, Westmoreland stock has lost 97 percent of its value and the company is well over a billion dollars in debt.

“Clearly investors on Wall Street are not thrilled with the performance of the company,” said Seth Feaster, an energy data analyst with the IEEFA.

The company has been under new leadership since this past November when CEO Kevin Paprzycki resigned suddenly after Westmoreland Coal reported losing $107 million dollars through the first three quarters of 2017.

Numerous attempts to contact Westmoreland for comment on this story went unanswered.

Westmoreland owns three Montana coal mines: the Rosebud mine at Colstrip, the Absaloka near Hardin, and the Savage Mine along the Montana/North Dakota border.

Feaster’s analysis of Westmoreland’s financial situation shows the company’s struggles are the result of a wholesale shift in America’s energy scene.

“All across this country, a lot of utilities based demands of their customers, and the cost inherent in coal-fired power are moving (utilities) away from coal,” said Feaster.

Westmoreland Coal teetering on the brink

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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