Arch Coal Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, October 28, 2011. Arch Coal is a coal producer in the United States, that sells coal to power plants, steel mills, and industrial facilities.

Arch Coal, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 15 cents per share, a decline of 57.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 74 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 56 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.26 per share, a rise of 10.5% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after topping forecasts the quarter prior. In the second quarter, it reported profit of 44 cents per share against a mean estimate of 62 cents. Two quarters ago, it beat expectations by 4 cents with net income of 36 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 39.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.22 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 16 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and six rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 83.3% to $11.1 million (6 cents a share) from $66.2 million (41 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 28.9% to $985.1 million from $764.3 million.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 27.2%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 42.2% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX), Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE:PCX), Massey Energy Company (NYSE:MEE), Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR), Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (NASDAQ:AHGP), Intl. Coal Group, Inc. (NYSE:ICO), James River Coal Company (NASDAQ:JRCC), Natural Resource Partners LP (NYSE:NRP), and Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ:ARLP).

Stock Price Performance: During July 29, 2011 to October 24, 2011, the stock price had fallen $7.85 (-30.8%) from $25.46 to $17.61. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 29, 2010 and November 8, 2010 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 20.4% (+$4.94) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 22, 2011 and August 4, 2011 when shares fell for 10-straight days, falling 25.7% (-$7.32) over that span. Shares are down $17.02 (-49.1%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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