Arch Coal mines the depths

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - BUSINESS -

Arch Coal is once again a pub­licly traded com­pany, but in­vestors didn’t ex­actly wel­come the coal miner back with open arms.

Arch Coal filed for Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion ear­lier this year. It was the sec­ond-largest coal min­ing com­pany in the U.S. at the time. Like many of its com­peti­tors, it’s suf­fered as elec­tric power com­pa­nies use less coal and fa­vor cheaper nat­u­ral gas, which also pro­duces less pol­lu­tion. The slow­ing global econ­omy has also hurt de­mand.

The na­tion’s largest coal miner, Peabody En­ergy, fol­lowed Arch Coal into bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion a few months af­ter it. St. Louis-based Arch says it’s re­duced its debt by more than 90 per­cent and now has $363 mil­lion in debt and $300 mil­lion in cash.

The stock sank 10 per­cent on Wed­nes­day.

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