The Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) share price is up 20% in the last week

Coal prices are surging to all-time highs…

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The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price has rallied 20% in the last week to a 9-month high of $2.72 during trading today.

At today’s close, Whitehaven shares were changing hands for $2.66, up 1.14%.

What’s driving the Whitehaven Coal share price?

Coal prices are surging in China, with prices for premium hard coking coal lifting by US$9.18/t to US431.03/t on Wednesday, according to Fastmarkets MB.

Elsewhere, China’s most-traded coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodities Exchange rallied to touch the highest levels on record.

The bullish performance of the Whitehaven Coal share price broadly coincides with the recent strength behind coal prices.

Encouraging FY21 results

Whitehaven Coal reported its FY21 full-year results on Thursday, 26 August.

At face value, the company reported a weak financial performance. It had revenues of $1.56 billion, down from $1.72 billion in FY20, and a net loss after tax before significant items of $87.3 million.

The seemingly negative financial performance was weighed down by significant expenses during the year, totaling $650 million, relating to asset impairments.

On the day the results were announced, the Whitehaven Coal share price tumbled 3.60% to $2.14 on open. However, buyers stepped up to push it well into positive territory, closing the session 4.95% higher at $2.33.

Whitehaven Coal managing director and CEO Paul Flynn described the year as one with “highs and lows both operationally and in terms of factors outside our control”.

“In the reporting period, cyclical lows in coal price were replaced with record highs, with the gC NEWC index currently trading around US$170 per tonne,” he said.

“While we had our hands full putting the more difficult geological conditions at Narrabri behind us, we also saw our largest production asset, Maules Creek, achieve record annual ROM production of 12.7Mt.”

Looking ahead, Flynn commented that the “outlook is better than what we have seen for some time, with the strong price environment putting us on an accelerated timeline to de-leveraging the balance sheet and returning cash to shareholders”.

Whitehaven Coal share price snap shot

It’s been a good year on the ASX for Whitehaven, with shares up by more than 60% so far.

In the past 12 months, the Whitehaven Coal share price has gained a whopping 206%.

Should you invest $1,000 in Whitehaven Coal right now?

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Motley Fool contributor Kerry Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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