BROOKWOOD, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warrior Met Coal, Inc. (“Warrior” or the “Company”) (NYSE: HCC) announced today that Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) Rating Services has affirmed the Company’s corporate credit rating of “B+”, with a stable outlook. At the same time, S&P raised the issue-level rating on the Company’s Senior Secured Notes due 2024 from “BB-” to “BB” and the recovery rating to “1” from “2”. S&P cited the Company’s strong performance, strong credit metrics and stable outlook as reasons for its new ratings. The upgrade reflects S&P’s view about Warrior’s ability to maintain strong EBITDA margins, low debt leverage and strong free cash flow in 2019.
Warrior is a large-scale, low-cost U.S. based producer and exporter of premium hard coking coal (“HCC”) operating highly efficient longwall operations in its underground mines located in Alabama. The HCC that Warrior produces from the Blue Creek coal seam contains very low sulfur and has strong coking properties, and is of a similar quality to coal referred to as the premium HCC produced in Australia. The premium nature of Warrior’s HCC makes it ideally suited as a base feed coal for steel makers and results in price realizations near the HCC industry average index price. Warrior sells all of its met coal production to steel producers in Europe, South America and Asia. For more information about Warrior Met Coal, please visit www.warriormetcoal.com.
This press release contains, and the Company’s officers and representatives may from time to time make, forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the Company expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding sales and production growth, ability to maintain cost structure, demand, the future direction of prices, expected capital expenditures and future effective income tax rates. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “project,” “target,” “foresee,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “potential,” or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. However, the absence of these words does not mean that the statements are not forward-looking. These forward-looking statements represent management’s good faith expectations, projections, guidance or beliefs concerning future events, and it is possible that the results described in this press release will not be achieved. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the Company’s control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, fluctuations or changes in the pricing or demand for the Company’s coal (or met coal generally) by the global steel industry; federal and state tax legislation; changes in interpretation or assumptions and/or updated regulatory guidance regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017; legislation and regulations relating to the Clean Air Act and other environmental initiatives; regulatory requirements associated with federal, state and local regulatory agencies, and such agencies’ authority to order temporary or permanent closure of the Company’s mines; operational, logistical, geological, permit, license, labor and weather-related factors, including equipment, permitting, site access, operational risks and new technologies related to mining; the Company’s obligations surrounding reclamation and mine closure; inaccuracies in the Company’s estimates of its met coal reserves; the Company’s expectations regarding its future tax rate as well as its ability to effectively utilize its NOLs; the Company’s ability to develop or acquire met coal reserves in an economically feasible manner; significant cost increases and fluctuations, and delay in the delivery of raw materials, mining equipment and purchased components; competition and foreign currency fluctuations; fluctuations in the amount of cash the Company generates from operations, including cash necessary to pay any special or quarterly dividend or the timing and amount of any stock repurchases the Company makes under its stock repurchase program; the Company’s ability to comply with covenants in its credit facility or indenture relating to the Notes; integration of businesses that the Company may acquire in the future; adequate liquidity and the cost, availability and access to capital and financial markets; failure to obtain or renew surety bonds on acceptable terms, which could affect the Company’s ability to secure reclamation and coal lease obligations; costs associated with litigation, including claims not yet asserted; and other factors described in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2018 and other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. The Company’s filings with the SEC are available on its website at www.warriormetcoal.com and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and, except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for the Company to predict all such factors.