Picture: 123RF/ SCAN RAIL
Picture: 123RF/ SCAN RAIL

The share price of Montauk Energy, which collects gas and produces electricity at US landfill sites, fell almost a fifth on Thursday after it warned headline earnings had dropped precipitously in its year to end September.

No reason for the fall was given, with the company expected to release the results on Friday.

Headline earnings per share are expected to have fallen by between 86.1% and 91.1% compared the 8.41 US dollar cents in the prior comparative period, it said in a statement.

The company noted in its results to end-March that its operating environment was challenging, and that despite the environmental benefits of collecting gas, the nature of the gas collected was variable.

“With electricity and natural gas commodity pricing in the US having been depressed for several years, while still maintaining a relatively high degree of short-term volatility (due to weather, supply and demand, and other market forces), the premiums associated with the various environmental attributes are currently the driving factor in the profitability of the business,” the company had said.

Johnny Copelyn, CEO of Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), is the non-executive chair and major shareholder in Montauk.

Montauk’s share price has been under pressure in 2019, having fallen 59.83% in the year to date. At 1.45pm on Thursday, the company's share price was down 19.59% to R32.50, putting it on track for its worst one-day performance since listing in December 2014.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za