Arch Coal Earnings: Powering Ahead

Arch Coal Inc (NASDAQ:ACI) swung to a profit in the first quarter and beat Wall Street’s expectations in the process. Arch Coal, Inc. is a coal producer in the United States, which sells coal to power plants, steel mills and industrial facilities.

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Arch Coal Inc Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Swung to a profit of $55.6 million (34 cents/diluted share) in the quarter. The industrial metals and minerals company had a net loss of $1.8 million or a loss of one cent per share in the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 22.6% to $872.9 million YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ACI beat the mean analyst estimate of 32 cents/share. Estimates ranged from 19 cents per share to 45 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “Significantly higher prices for metallurgical and steam coal shipped in the quarter just ended drove our positive financial results,” said Steven F. Leer, Arch’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our per-ton cash margins in the Powder River Basin and Western Bituminous Region approached all-time records, while our cash margins in Central Appalachia nearly matched levels achieved in the bull market of 2008.”

Competitors to Watch: CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX), Massey Energy Co. (NYSE:MEE), Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE:BTU), BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP), Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX), James River Coal (NASDAQ:JRCC), International Coal (NYSE:ICO), Alliance Holdings (NASDAQ:AHGP), Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT), Oxford Resource (NYSE:OXF).

Today’s Performance: Shares of ACI are trading at $34.46 as of April 26, 2011 at 11:41 AM ET, up 1.89% from the previous close.

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