Alpha Natural Resources 3Q loss less than expected

Alpha Natural Resources 3rd-quarter loss narrowed than expected; shares rise

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Alpha Natural Resources jumped 7 percent Friday after the coal producer narrowed its losses and posted much better earnings than were expected for the third quarter as the industry struggles with anemic demand.

The company lost $46.1 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier quarterly profit of $62.6 million, or 28 cents per share.

Revenue fell 29 percent to $1.63 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 45 cents per share with revenue of $1.69 billion.

Alpha Natural and other coal producers are being hit by a double whammy of weak demand. Utilities need less coal to produce electricity because of mild weather and lower power generation, while construction overseas has slowed the appetite for coal to make steel.

"In the face of these market headwinds, Alpha has taken swift and decisive actions to right-size our operational footprint and our cost structure," the company said in a statement.

That includes slowing production to get more in line with demand as prices continue to fall and the slashing of about 1,200 jobs. The restructuring started in September and is expected to save $150 million a year once they're complete.

Shares of Alpha Natural Resources Inc. rose 65 cents to $9.51 in trading before the opening bell.

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