S.Africa's Transnet to reopen coal export line
South African logistics group Transnet said on Tuesday it would reopen a coal export line leading to the Richards Bay coal export terminal at 1400 GMT after a derailment over the weekend.
A train derailed on the line near Ermelo in the northeastern Mpumalanga province on January 22. Some 90 export coal trains were cancelled as a result of the three-day line closure, Transnet said in a statement.
It was still unclear what caused the derailment, although heavy rains in the last month have disrupted rail freight operations, affecting both coal and maize exports from Africa's biggest economy.
South Africa is a major exporter of coal to power stations in Europe and Asia, but exporters have failed to ship all their export coal to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal due to bottlenecks on the approaching rail lines.
South Africa exported 63.43 million tonnes of coal last year, boosted by demand from China and India.
Transnet is investing heavily in new and improved infrastructure, but its lines are still too small to meet the terminal's expanded annual capacity of 91 million tonnes.
The heavy rains have also affected mining firms, preventing them loading and off-loading rail wagons. Companies in the coal sector include Anglo American, Xstrata, Optimum Coal and Exxaro.
Low coal stocks at RBCT have led to congestion at the port as vessels wait for days to load.
Apple is ready to announce its second quarter results today, at a conference call scheduled for April 24, 2012, at approximately 5 p.m. ET. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is expected to report another fantastic earnings quarter, bolstered mostly by the release of the company's third-generation iPad, but Apple is not expected to report a quarter as memorable as its last one.
On Jan. 24, Apple's CEO Tim Cook announced the most successful quarter in Apple's 35-year history, claiming $46.33 billion overall, $13.1 billion in profit and $17.5 billion in cash for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2011. The final 14 weeks of 2011 were dominated by Apple, thanks in part to the release of the iPhone 4S and its popular voice-activated AI tool Siri, as well as the death of the company's visionary co-founder, Steve Jobs. For Q1 2012, Apple sold 37 million iPhones, 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Mac computers.
We're thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs, said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. Apple's momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.
Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer predicted revenue of about $32.6 billion, as well as diluted earnings per share of about $8.50, but Oppenheimer was likely low-balling Apple's success, likely so Cook can announce that Apple's second quarter earnings exceeded expectations.
There's a great chance Apple could claim up to $40 billion overall thanks to the sales success of its new iPad. Considering that Apple still sold more than 15 million iPads in the December quarter, with a brand-new iPad on the market, there's a great chance Apple sold anywhere between 25 to 30 million iPads in Q2 2012.
Apple will likely report less cash for the quarter, partially beause of the company's March 19 announcement to reward shareholders by launching a quarterly dividend and stock buyback program. The program won't go into effect until later this year, but Apple looks to buy back up to $10 billion in stock and will pay out about $45 billion in cash -- $2.65 per share -- over the next three years.
We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You'll see more of all of these in the future, said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.
Reflecting the general attitudes towards Apple, the company's AAPL climbed to new heights during Q2 2012. AAPL shares repeatedly broke the 600 mark in March and April -- especially after the decision to pay back its investors -- and analysts began predicting that Apple stock could be the first to reach a $1 trillion market cap.
Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world, and we see no end in sight, said Ticonderoga's Brian White said.
It's true: Apple has been on a roll recently. The company's most successful products have all been launched over the last five years -- including the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 -- but Apple won't be reporting quite a successful quarter in Q2. In fact, the company may not beat out its Q1 2012 earnings unless it releases another insanely great, revolutionary product.
The company could easily accomplish its goals if it in fact released an Apple-branded TV, but that product doesn't look like a possibility in 2012. In the meantime, the company will need to keep innovating its products while retaining the qualities that make them addictive in the first place.
Even if Apple disappoints with its earnings release today, the company is far from sunk. Apple will make plenty of mistakes, just like every other company, but at the moment, Apple can do no wrong. Despite news of patent lawsuits and worker mistreatment in the company's supply chians, Apple still managed to shine in the last quarter. In Q2, with Apple bestowing its customers with new products and a shiny new shares buyback and dividend program, expect a similarly bright outlook for Cupertino and its computers.
Apple will be live streaming the audio of its Q2 2012 conference call via Quicktime, but the audio will also be available as a continuous rebroadcast after 8:30 p.m. ET until Tuesday, May 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET. you can call into the rebroadcast toll-free at (888) 203-1112, or (719) 457-0820. You'll need to enter confirmation code 2646984 to listen to the call.