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Consol Energy reports $196 million net income

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Energy producer Consol Energy reports it is dealing well with a "challenging environment" in the energy marketplace.

The energy company posted net fourth quarter income of $150 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, compared to $196 million, or85 cents per diluted share from last year's fourth quarter. Consol's net income for 2012 was $388 million, or $1.70 per diluted share, compared to $632 million, or $2.76 per diluted share, for 2011.

"CONSOL Energy continued to re-balance its world class portfolio of assets in 2012," said J. Brett Harvey, chairman and CEO, "while successfully managing our coal and gas businesses through a very challenging environment. In our Coal Division for 2012, we worked with our domestic thermal coal customers and the railroads throughout the year to keep contracted shipments flowing despite weak markets. We carefully managed both thermal and metallurgical coal production to avoid building inventory."

Harvey said the company has "executed well" given the "tepid economy" and a winter with above-average temperatures.

"When investors step back for a minute and consider that in the past two years, Consol Energy has earned over $1 billion in net income and generated $2.3 billion in operating cash flow," continued Harvey, "I think they'll realize that we've executed at a level — in both good and challenging times — that few, if any, of our peers in the energy industry can match. This is why I believe that CONSOL Energy deserves to be a core holding for energy investors."

In its fourth quarter earning report, Consol included a pre-tax charge of $13 million for a "voluntary severance program for certain active salaried corporate and operation support employees" as well as a pre-tax gain of $90 million made by selling portions of its assets.

"Assets sold included coal reserves and/or resources from Central Appalachia, the Powder River Basin, and western Canada," the report stated. "CONSOL expects to continue to sell assets in 2013."