U.S. Markets close in 4 hrs 11 mins

Arch Coal posts 1Q loss on production and prices

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Arch Coal Inc. on Tuesday reported a first-quarter loss on lower production and prices.

The St. Louis-based company posted a loss of $70 million, or 33 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That compares with earnings of $1.2 million, or 1 cent per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time items, the loss was 34 cents per share.

Revenue fell to $825.5 million from $1.04 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 33 cents per share on revenue of $914.2 million.

Arch sold 34.1 million tons of coal, down from 35.5 million in the same period a year ago. The average sales price per ton fell to $21.66 from $25.73.

The company said markets for metallurgical coal — used in steel making — and for thermal coal markets — used to generate electricity — are stabilizing, and it expects business to improve for the rest of the year.

Arch shares fell 21 cents, or 4.3 percent to $4.68 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $4.47 and $10.26 over the past 52 weeks.