Mechel Tumbles to ‘09 Low on $1.6 Billion Charge: Moscow Mover

OAO Mechel plunged to a four-year low after Russia’s largest coking-coal producer took an impairment charge.

Mechel dropped 9.9 percent to 118.10 rubles by 3:25 p.m. in Moscow, the lowest intraday level since February 2009. The amount of shares traded was 1.4 million, equivalent to about 1.5 times the three-month daily average.

The impairment charge came to $1.6 billion, according to today’s statement. The company posted a net loss of $1.7 billion in 2012, compared with a profit of $727.9 million in 2011.

“The impairment was very large,” Andrey Tretelnikov, an analyst at Rye, Man & Gor Securities who has a buy recommendation on the stock, said by phone from Moscow. “This scared many investors.”

Mechel has lost 42 percent this year and trades at 14 times estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.