Alpha Natural Resources beats analysts expectations

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Coal mining company Alpha Natural Resources reported a third-quarter loss Tuesday because of charges associated with its July merger with Foundational Coal.

The Abingdon-based company reported a $19.5 million loss for the quarter, compared with a $67.4 million profit for same quarter last year. Without the merger-related expenses, the company posted a $49.4 million profit, or 47 cents per share, beating analysts’ expectations of 38 cents per share.

Revenues for the company rose to $729.2 million for the quarter, up from $688.4 million the year before.

“Alpha’s strong third-quarter 2009 performance is particularly noteworthy in light of the continued weakness in the domestic thermal coal market and the fact that we closed our merger with Foundation Coal at the end of July, creating the third largest U.S. coal company by most measurements,” Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha’s CEO, said in a statement.

Crutchfield said the global recession had dampened demand for thermal coal, but the company believes the demand for metallurgical coal will increase to between 10 and 11 million tons of coal for 2010, up 1 million from its previous predictions.

James River Coal Co., a Richmond-based producer of steam and industrial-grade coal, reported an income of $9.8 million for the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $27.1 million during the third quarter of 2008. Revenues for the quarter were up 11 percent to $168.3 million.

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