Walter Reports Wider-Than-Expected Loss on Low Coal Price

Walter Energy Inc. (WLT), a producer of metallurgical coal, reported a wider-than-expected loss in the second quarter and reduced its full-year forecast for production of the steelmaking ingredient.

The loss excluding one-time items was $1.97 a share, the Birmingham, Alabama-based company said today in a statement. That trailed the average of 18 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg for a per-share loss of $1.69.

Walter reduced its forecast for metallurgical coal sales for this year to 9.5 million to 10.5 million tons, down from the previous range of 10.5 million to 11.5 million tons. The company said the main reason for the reduction was the shutting in June of its principal coal transportation provider at the Brule mine in Canada.

Walter is contending with a global benchmark for metallurgical coal of $120 per metric ton, which is down 64 percent since 2011, when Chinese demand was booming for the commodity.

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