Arch Coal Rises After Earnings Beat Estimates of Analysts

Arch Coal Inc., a producer of the commodity in Appalachia and the western U.S., rose the most in two months after reporting an increase in cash on hand and profit that beat analysts’ estimates.

The shares gained 4 percent to $1.56 in New York. Excluding one-time items, third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $70 million to $74 million, the St. Louis-based company said today in a statement. Arch was expected to earn $68.4 million, the average of 12 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company also said it had $1.05 billion of cash and short-term investments as of Sept. 30, almost $60 million more than at the end of the preceding quarter.

Arch, which reports its full quarterly results on Oct. 28, said it was publishing today’s preliminary earnings because of “recent unprecedented market conditions.” The company produces coal for power stations and steelmakers, and prices of both types have slumped, spurring some U.S. producers to idle or close mines.

Arch’s shares have plunged 65 percent in 2014 and closed Oct. 10 at their lowest in at least 17 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Other U.S. coal producers rose today. Walter Energy Inc. advanced as much as 11 percent before ending 1.3 percent higher, while Peabody Energy Corp. closed 1.8 percent higher. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. increased as much as 9.4 percent before closing 3.5 percent lower.

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