James River Coal's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

James River Coal (JRCC)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

March 01, 2012 11:00 am ET


Elizabeth M. Cook - Director of Investor Relations

Peter T. Socha - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Coy K. Lane - Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President

Joseph Czul - President - Logan & Kanawha

Samuel M. Hopkins - Principal Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and Vice President


Michael S. Dudas - Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., Research Division

Shneur Z. Gershuni - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

James M. Rollyson - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Jeffrey Cramer

Justine Fisher - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Lucas Pipes - Brean Murray, Carret & Co., LLC, Research Division

Brian D. Gamble - Simmons & Company International, Research Division

J. Christopher Haberlin - Davenport & Company, LLC, Research Division

Brandon Blossman - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

David E. Beard - Iberia Capital Partners, Research Division

David S. Martin - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Michael Goldenberg - Luminus Management, LLC

Lance Ettus



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the James River Coal Company Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this call is being recorded. I would now like to turn your conference over to your host for today, Ms. Beth Cook. Ma'am, you may begin.

Elizabeth M. Cook

Thank you, Ben, and good morning. Welcome to James River Coal Company's Fourth Quarter Earnings Call. We released our earnings this morning and our release and presentation are on our website and were furnished to the SEC on a Form 8-K. With me on the call today are Peter Socha, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; C.K. Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Sam Hopkins, Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer; Joe Czul, President of Logan & Kanawha; and Jim Ketron, Vice President and General Counsel.

Before we begin, I need to remind you that this call will contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should be considered along with the risk factors that we note at the end of our press release, as well as in our annual report on Form 10-K and other SEC filings. Now, I will turn the call over to Peter.

Peter T. Socha

Good morning, Beth. Thank you, everyone. Good morning to everybody. Thanks for joining us. We -- I'm just going to go through the summary. We should cover these slides in probably 10 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes.

Let me just say, from 50,000 feet, we're doing really well. I'm very, very happy with how the mines are doing. C.K. will talk about it in just a minute. The mines are functioning extremely well. I'm happy with how we are on the sales side with our closeness to our customers, we are still very close to them. We're talking with them regularly. One of our guys in our sales group just got back from a trip. Joe is getting ready to go on a trip to go see customers. So we're pretty much in contact with what the market is doing and we're pleased from that standpoint, but obviously, we're happy with the balance sheet, happy to have the position that we have right now. So from that standpoint, all the things that are within our control, I think we're very pleased with. I know I speak for the whole management team by saying we're very pleased with. The market is terrible right now. It has been terrible for a while. This is a commodity market and markets come and markets go, as one of our coal miners told me not too long ago. Coal markets go up and coal markets go down. Make sure you're there when they're up. That's kind -- that's what we're doing and that's how we're managing our company and I think we're doing a relatively good job at that.

We did reach agreements, just going through the Summary slide, the mines did -- had a great quarter. The mines had a great year. Logan & Kanawha and IRP are fully integrated to this part of James River. Very, very happy with how everything has gone there with the people and with the assets, could not be happier, actually. The balance sheet is strong, continues to be strong. We did sell some coal during the quarter. I probably should have put more detail here than I did. I thought about it late last night. Of the 2.8 million tons, about 1/2 of it was met coal and about 1/2 of it was other. Of the 1/2 that was met, about a little bit more than 1/2 of that went overseas, about 60% went overseas and about 40% was domestic. Of the 50% that was other, that's Stoker, that's PCI and it's a little bit of carryover tons on the thermal side, we are pretty well sold out. I don't know that we're going to sell any more thermal coal in this market during 2012. The met market, we'll continue to watch and see where the opportunities are on the met side but I can't imagine us selling more thermal coal this year. The entire organization is very focused on safety, on cost control. These coal miners and our superintendents and our engineers, they've been in the coal industry for a long time. They know what a soft market looks like and they have managed through this process before, so we're very focused on capital and we're very focused on costs, on our cash cost. And on staying close to the customers because things do turn fairly quickly and we want to make sure that we're aware of it early in the process. That's the way we function, we stay so close to the customers and we hear things and we pick them up and we manage our process that way. And with that, I will turn it over to C.K.

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