CANONSBURG, Pennsylvania — Consol Energy reported a bigger second-quarter loss as weak coal sales dragged revenue lower and exploration costs increased.
With natural gas prices faltering and demand for coal continuing to erode, the company fell short of Wall Street's expectations for profit and revenue. The energy market is shifting rapidly and in April, for the first time, natural gas overtook coal as the country's primary source of fuel for U.S. power generators.
Even as demand crumbles, Consol's exploration and production costs tripled during the quarter.
"Given this environment, we will manage the company to be free cash positive over the next 18 months, beginning in the second half of 2015," said CEO Nicholas DeIuliis, in a printed statement.
The Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, company lost $603.3 million, or $2.64 per share, compared with a loss of $24.9 million, or 11 cents per share, a year prior.
Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 37 cents per share, while the average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 1 cent per share.
The energy company posted revenue of $648.9 million in the period, marking about a 30 percent drop from a year ago. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $794.9 million.
Shares of Consol Energy Inc. edged lower before the opening bell Tuesday. They have dropped 49 percent since the beginning of the year, and 57 percent in the last 12 months.
Keywords: Consol Energy, Earnings Report