Blaming severe weakness in U.S. thermal coal markets, Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) today reported first quarter 2012 net income of $1.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared with net income of $55.6 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.
Arch Coal shares were off only 1.64% to $9.60 a share in heavy volume. Year-to-date the company's stock has lost over 33% of its value.
Revenues reached $1.0 billion in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 19 percent versus the prior-year period. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, depletion and amortization ("EBITDA") totaled $180 million in the first quarter, compared with $191 million a year ago, as higher costs more than offset higher realized prices.
"The severe weakness in U.S. thermal coal markets impacted our first quarter results and, consequently, we are resetting our 2012 expectations," said John W. Eaves, Arch's president and chief executive officer.
"Based upon an unprecedented build in power generator coal stockpiles year to date, the continued erosion in natural gas prices and relatively soft global metallurgical demand, we are further curtailing our production in 2012. While lower planned volumes will have predictable consequences on our near-term financial results, we believe we are taking the right steps now to position Arch for success as coal markets recover."