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Patriot projects net loss through 2018

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Patriot Coal might not turn a profit through 2018, according to a document filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis.

The projected consolidated statement of operations shows a projected net loss of $391 million this year but shrinking through 2018, when the loss is estimated to be $9 million.

Patriot predicts an operating loss of $324 million this year and $69 million next year. It projects operating margins of $39 million, $51 million, $57 million and $116 million in the four-year period beginning in 2015.

Interest expense is projected to increase annually, from $57 million this year to $128 million in 2018.

Assets are expected to hold steady at $3.6 million to $3.65 million in the six-year time frame, but liabilities are expected to increase, from about $1.96 million this year to $2.43 million in  2018, with stockholder equity decreasing during the period.

Patriot expects production to increase from 22.1 million tons this year to 24.3 million tons in 2018. The mix between thermal coal and met coal will change, with met coal amounting to about 30 percent of production this year to 41 percent in 2018.