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Natural Resource Partners LP (NRP) Down 1.3% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

Zacks Equity Research

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Natural Resource Partners LP (NRP). Shares have lost about 1.3% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Natural Resource Partners LP due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Natural Resource Surpasses Earnings Estimates in Q4

Natural Resource Partners LP delivered fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of $1.69 per unit, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.22 by 38.52%. Moreover, the bottom line improved 43.2% from the year-ago quarter’s figure of $1.18.

In 2018, the partnership delivered earnings of $5.90 per unit, higher than $3.68 in 2017.

Total Revenues

In the quarter under review, Natural Resource’s total revenues of $90.5 million lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $95 million by 4.9%. However, the top line was up 39% compared with the year-ago quarter’s tally.

The year-over-year upside was driven by strong coal pricing driven by solid export demand as well as stable domestic markets for metallurgical and thermal coal.

In 2018, the partnership generated revenues of $278.5 million higher than $246.3 million in 2017.

Highlights of the Release

The Coal Royalty and Other segment contributed 85% to total revenues in the fourth quarter. Also, the Soda Ash segment contributed 15% to revenues.

Total operating expenses in the quarter rose 123.2% to $38.4 million, from $17.2 million in the prior-year quarter. Expenses increased primarily due to higher Asset impairments in the quarter under review.

Interest expenses declined 11.4% to $17 million from $19.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Condition

Natural Resource had cash and cash equivalents of $101.8 million as of Dec 31, 2018, up from $26.9 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

The partnership continues to lower outstanding debt levels. Long-term debt was $557.5 million as of Dec 31, 2018, down from $729.6 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

Cash flow from operating activities in the fourth quarter was $81.4 million, up from $46.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.

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