UPDATE 1-Peabody posts adjusted profit as costs fall
* 3rd-quarter adjusted profit $0.05/shr vs est. loss 0.04/shr
* Revenue down 13 percent at $1.80 billion
* Shares up 5 pct before the bell
Oct 17 (Reuters) - Coal miner Peabody Energy Corp reported an unexpected profit for the third quarter on an adjusted terms as shipments from its Australian mines rose and the company's efforts to curtail costs helped blunt the impact of weak prices.
Peabody shares were up 5 percent before the bell.
Shipments from the company's Australian mines rose 6 percent to 9 million tons, while costs per ton fell 8 percent.
Average unit costs fell 3 percent at Peabody's U.S. mines.
The world's largest private-sector coal miner cut the top end of its full-year capital spending target to $400 million from $450 million as coal prices remain weak.
The company reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $26.1 million, or 10 cents per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with net income of $42.9 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell nearly 13 percent to $1.80 billion.
Adjusted profit was 5 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $1.78 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Peabody sells both higher-margin metallurgical coal, used to make steel, and thermal coal used to generate electricity.
Both markets have been under pressure, with a drop in steel demand hammering prices for metallurgical coal. At the same time, U.S. utilities have been burning less coal due to low prices for natural gas.
Peabody shares were trading at $18.87 before the bell after closing at $17.89 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
The shares have fallen more than 30 percent since the beginning of the year, but have rallied about 24 percent since hitting a low of $14.34 in June as coal prices showed signs of improvement.