I don't see NRP changing its distribution for a while. It has lots of discretion in determining what amounts to hold back for new projects, etc. So I'm expecting the $ 2.16 to continue for 2011, no matter what the cash flow turns out to be.
The announcement by NRP was strange. The first paragraph (floods in Australia, severe winter weather, etc) would make you think the price of coal was going thru the roof, at least for a while. Then, they cut expectations. I assume they have not built the possible continuing impact of higher coal prices into their projections, so I guess we could see some upside. Maybe under NRP's contracts with the miners, the impact of higher prices doesn't completely flow thru to NRP until the end of the lease. I know that's the case with PVR's coal royalty operation.
So I'll take the $ 2.16 and wait. I also have the luxury of a much lower cost for my shares; I've been in NRP for a while.
marie: Arch Coal did announce earlier that they had had rail problems that would affect Arch earnings. NRP did not mention this and would guess that shipping is not a problem. The dividend announcement of 54 cents now covers 106 million units. Must have good earnings to be able to keep this level of return. Just my opinion.