(Updates with closing share price in last paragraph.)
Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Walter Energy Inc., the U.S. mining company that paid C$5.3 billion ($5.3 billion) for Western Coal Corp. in April, posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates after metallurgical-coal prices fell.
Net income dropped 8.8 percent to $83.8 million, or $1.34 a share, from $91.9 million, or $1.72, a year earlier, Birmingham, Alabama-based Walter said today in a statement. The average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of $1.50 a share.
Sales of metallurgical coal, which is used in steelmaking, rose 60 percent to 2.4 million tons. The average selling price for hard coking coal was $244 a metric ton. The company’s so- called average cash cost of production climbed to $131.74 a ton from $91.14.
“Average realized pricing was a little lower than we were looking for and average costs were a little higher,” Jim Rollyson, a Houston-based analyst with Raymond James Financial Inc., said in a telephone interview.
Walter reiterated its guidance of 11.5 million to 13 million tons of coal production in 2012. It sold 8.7 million tons in 2011.
Walter rose 1.7 percent to $66.64 in New York.
--Editors: Simon Casey, Steven Frank
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