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Arch Coal posts $70M first-quarter loss

Keywords: Tags  Arch Coal, metallurgical coal, John Eaves, earnings report, Stacy Irish

NEW YORK — Arch Coal Inc. posted a first-quarter net loss of $70 million in contrast to net income of $1.2 million in the same period last year on revenue that fell 20.6 percent to $825.5 million from nearly $1.04 billion.

The St. Louis, Mo.-based company reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of $83.6 million for the three months ended March 31, down more than half from $179.8 million a year earlier due to lower sales volumes and weak demand.

The latest quarterly results included a pre-tax charge of $10.5 million related to minimum throughput fees, as required under Arch Coal’s existing port and logistics agreements, the company said.

"Despite the global coal market headwinds that have prevailed over the last 18 months, we are delivering strong cost control, exercising capital restraint and minimizing cash outflows in the trough of the market cycle while maintaining our commitment to safety and environmental excellence," president and chief executive officer John Eaves said. "Globally, we believe metallurgical and thermal coal markets are in the process of stabilizing, and we anticipate gradual improvement as we progress through the remainder of the year."

Eaves said the company’s focus "remains on improving cash flow during this period of market weakness and on preparing the company to capitalize as coal markets recover. Our plan includes three key areas: capital spending reductions, cost containment, and working capital and financial management."

Arch has reduced its anticipated capital expenditures by approximately $30 million for 2013, and now expects to spend between $300 million and $330 million for the full year.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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