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Alpha faces credit downgrade due to coal weakness

Keywords: Tags  Alpha Natural Resources, Moody’s Investors Service, credit downgrade, ratings review, metallurgical coal, thermal coal, Stacy Irish

NEW YORK — Alpha Natural Resources Inc.’s ratings have been placed under review by Moody’s Investors Service for a possible downgrade due to ongoing weakness in the global metallurgical and thermal coal markets.

This includes the company’s "B1" corporate family rating, probability of default rating, rating on senior secured term loan and "B2" rating on senior unsecured debt, Moody’s said Aug. 5.

The Bristol, Va.-based company recently reported a second-quarter net loss of $185.7 million, citing falling global metallurgical coal prices and a weak steel market (, Aug. 5).

"The rating action was prompted by recent deterioration in performance due to continuing weakness in the coal industry and our view that if metallurgical coal prices persist at the recent benchmark settlement price of $145 per ton," New York-based Moody’s said.

Alpha expects coal shipments to total 83 million to 91 million tons this year.

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

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