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Teck Resources Earnings Trail Estimates as Coal Prices Decline

Teck Resources Ltd., the second-largest exporter of seaborne coal used in steelmaking, reported fourth-quarter earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates as coal and copper prices fell.

Net income climbed to C$232 million ($211 million) from C$200 million a year earlier, the Vancouver-based company said today in a statement. Profit excluding one-time items was 40 cents a share, missing the 43-cent average of 26 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales declined to C$2.38 billion from C$2.73 billion, beating the C$2.31 billion average estimate.

“Coal and pretty much all bulk commodities are weak year on year,” John Stephenson, a Toronto-based money manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc. who helps oversee about C$3 billion, said in a telephone interview before the results were released. “China is the linchpin on global demand.”

China imported about 2.14 million tons of metallurgical coal, a steelmaking ingredient, from Canada in the first two months of the quarter, 19 percent less than the year-earlier period, according to the latest data published by the Canadian government.

Teck sold coal at an average price of $142 per metric ton, down from $159 a year earlier. Copper prices declined 10 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, Teck said.

The company’s coal sales in the fourth quarter were 6.48 million tons, compared with 6.42 million a year earlier. The company has agreed with customers to sell 5.9 million tons of coal in the first quarter and expects to reach about 6.3 million tons in sales including the spot markets, it said.

Coal accounted for 44 percent of Teck’s revenue last year, the statement shows. The company also mines copper, which represented 30 percent of sales, and zinc, which made up 26 percent.

BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance, a joint venture between Australia’s BHP Billiton Ltd. and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp., is the biggest exporter of seaborne metallurgical coal.

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