Patriot Coal goes bankrupt

Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX) confirmed Monday what everyone already knew: the company is headed to bankruptcy.

The company, affected by milder winters and a shift to natural gas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday, causing shares to implode in regular trading and continue to fall after hours.

Shares closed at 61 cents after falling from an intraday high of $2.09 Monday in the NYSE composite trading, diving 73% this year through July 5.

The firm said it intends to continue mining operations and deliveries to customers as usual while it goes through a major shake-up.

Patriot, which has lost more than $7 billion in value, also said it has received a commitment for $802 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

In May, Patriot Coal announced new loans totaling 6$25 million from Citigroup, Barclays and others to improve its financial position ahead of certain debt obligations becoming due in March 2013.

Patriot Coal has 13 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin and controls roughly 1.9 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves. It also sells thermal coal to electricity generators and metallurgical coal to steel and coke producers.

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