Arch Coal Inc. (ACI), Tuesday said it slipped to a loss for the fourth quarter, hurt by weak coal prices and one-time impairment charge. The quarterly loss was worse than what the Street anticipated, while revenues also fell short of expectations. Shares of the company were down about eight percent in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Moving forward, Arch noted coal markets to remain under pressure, but with a possibility for recovery in demand and pricing in 2013.
Arch Coal, which produces thermal and metallurgical coal, has been grappling with weak prices that has impacted revenues. The company has been incurring losses over the past quarters.
For the fourth quarter, the St. Louis, Missouri-based company reported a net loss of $295 million or $1.39 per share, compared with net profit of $71 million or $0.33 per share last year.
Results for the reporting quarter included a non-cash impairment charge of $231 million, mainly due to the decline in benchmark metallurgical coal prices.
Excluding items, loss for the quarter was $89 million or $0.42 per share, compared with a profit of $62 million or $0.29 per share last year.
On average, 26 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of $0.15 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Revenues for the quarter totaled $968 million, compared with $1.23 billion in the prior year. Analysts on consensus estimated revenues of $997.64 million.
Arch sold 36.1 million tons of coal during the quarter at a price of $24.21 a ton, compared with 37.5 million tons sold at a price of $25.57 a ton in the sequential quarter.
Arch recorded a $58 million charge in the quarter to reflect the rejection of a customer supply contract by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the assumption of the contract obligation by Arch.
For fiscal year 2013, Arch Coal expects sales from company-controlled operations of between 133 million and 144 million tons. The company anticipates capital expenditure for the year to be at or below $350 million.
Arch Coal is trading at $6.39, down 7.82%, on a volume of 13 million shares.
by RTT Staff Writer
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