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Joy Global profit dips as miners spend less on equipment

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June 5 (Reuters) - Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc reported a 59 percent drop in quarterly profit as miners cut spending on underground mining equipment in the face of weak coal prices.

Joy Global, which gets about two-thirds of its revenue from coal miners, said pricing in the metallurgical coal markets in the first three months of 2014 was the weakest since 2009.

Coal companies have been idling high-cost mines in an attempt to boost prices for metallurgical, or steelmaking, coal as the two-year long slump in prices was compounded by weak demand from Europe and Asia.

Joy Global, which also supplies to miners of copper, iron ore and other minerals, said on Thursday iron ore prices had also declined over the past two months due to a supply glut.

Orders for underground mining machinery dropped 31 percent to $488 million in the second quarter ended May 2.

Net income fell to $74.0 million, or 73 cents per share, from $181.6 million, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Joy Global earned 76 cents per share.

Net sales dropped 32 percent to $929.7 million.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 71 cents per share on revenue of $932.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Joy Global shares closed at $57.85 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. They have gained about 9 percent in the past year, lagging a 24 percent increase in the Dow Jones U.S. Industrials index.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)