Whitehaven meets revised guidance

AFTER three recent downgrades, Whitehaven Coal has met its revised full-year production guidance.
Whitehaven meets revised guidance Whitehaven meets revised guidance Whitehaven meets revised guidance Whitehaven meets revised guidance Whitehaven meets revised guidance

Whitehaven's Maules Creek mine

Staff reporter

FY21 managed run of mine coal production was 20.6 million tonnes, above revised guidance of 20.4Mt.

Original production guidance was 21-22.5Mt, which was lowered to 21.4-22Mt in March, to 20.6-21.4Mt in April and to 20.4Mt last month.

Maules Creek achieved record annual managed ROM production of 12.7Mt, while difficult conditions persisted at Narrabri.

June quarter ROM production was 5.4Mt, while managed saleable coal production was 3.8Mt.

The company held managed coal stocks of 3.3Mt at the end of June.

Thermal coal prices jumped from US$76 per tonne in the March quarter to $94/t, while metallurgical coal jumped to $103/t from $92/t.

"Coal prices staged a remarkable recovery over the quarter, responding to increased economic activity, as well as continuing supply side constraints," Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn said.

"Prices for high-CV thermal are at 10-year highs and we will begin to see this materialise into strong free cashflow over the coming months."

Bell Potter Securities analyst Stuart Howe said with elevated end-of-quarter coal stockpiles, Narrabri performance improving and Maules Creek performing strongly, Whitehaven should be able to unwind working capital into strong coal markets to the benefit of balance sheet deleveraging.

Bell Potter now assumes thermal coal prices to average $120/t in the current half, up from $100/t, and hard coking coal prices to average $165/t, up from $153/t.

Howe maintained a buy for Whitehaven and lifted his price target by A10c to $2.50.

Whitehaven shares closed 13c higher at $2.07 yesterday, valuing the company at $2.13 billion.