Boston, MA 10/29/2013 (wallstreetpr) – Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI) is a leading coal producer in America, it sold 14% of the total coal sold by American companies in 2012. The company also takes advantage of trading, when the prices are right. Out of the 140.8 million tons sold in 2012, 4.3 million tons were sourced from third parties. Coal industry is going through a very bad phase globally and in particularly in America. The industry is plagued by slow economic growth, low prices of natural gas and rising labor costs. Slow economic recovery globally has lead to less demand for metallurgical coal and oversupply has ensured that prices have remained depressed for much of the year. Natural gas is also available cheaply and being a cleaner substitute of coal, is increasingly being used as a substitute for coal in both thermal power plants and metallurgical industries.
Arch Coal posted strong results in the second quarter. Going forward, the company has embarked on a cost cutting exercise and is also looking to divest from non-core activities. Sale of Canyon Fuel subsidiary has contributed in streamlining operations. The company has also finalized sales of Utah operations. This will infuse the company with $435 million by end of next quarter. Cost reduction is also on top of the management’s agenda and the company is also looking at measure to curtail capital expenditure.
The outlook for the coal industry is not expected to improve in the near future. Energy Information Administration estimates that coal exports have fallen by more than 7.6% in the first half and weaknesses in Asian markets of India, South Korea and Taiwan will impact future shipments. Metallurgical coal prices are also expected to remain depressed.
Analysts do not expect any great results from Arch Coal. Revenues are expected to drop by 18% year-on-year to $888.8 million, from $1.09 billion for the same period last year. The loss is expected to be $0.30 per share
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