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Arch Coal Hikes Dividend; Initiates FY Sales Volume Guidance

Arch Coal Inc.(ARCH) said that its board approved an increase in the company's quarterly dividend to $0.40 per share from $0.35 per share. The next quarterly cash dividend payment of $0.40 per common share is scheduled to be paid on March 15, 2018 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 5, 2018.

The company initiated full year sales volume guidance for 2018. Based on current expectations, Arch expects total sales of between 92 million and 99 million tons, a level in line with the company's 2017 sales volumes. Included in this range are projected sales of between 6.4 million and 7.0 million tons of metallurgical coal.

On the metallurgical side, Arch has committed select volumes at strong pricing with its North American customer base. Arch also has a large percentage of its 2018 coking coal either committed and subject to market pricing or still available, which will allow it to capitalize on strong seaborne coking coal market dynamics. At the expected midpoint of its volume guidance level, Arch is nearly 65 percent committed on coking coal sales for the full year, with approximately 60 percent of that committed volume exposed to market-based pricing.

Arch expects that approximately 80 percent of its metallurgical production will be sold to international steelmakers.

Arch expects to sell between 86 million and 92 million tons of thermal coal in 2018. At the midpoint of guidance, Arch's thermal sales are approximately 82 percent committed for full year 2018.

Arch currently anticipates that cash cost per ton sold in the Metallurgical and Powder River Basin segments will be similar to 2017 levels. The Other Thermal segment's cash cost per ton sold is expected to be higher, adjusted for anticipated production mix between the mines in the segment.

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