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Alpha Natural Resources 3Q loss less than expected

Associated Press Modified: November 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm •  Published: November 2, 2012

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) — Alpha Natural Resources Inc. says its losses narrowed and it posted better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter as the coal industry struggles with anemic demand.

The Bristol, Va.-based company said Friday it lost $46.1 million, or 21 cents per share. That compares with a year-earlier quarterly profit of $62.6 million, or 28 cents per share.

Revenue fell 29 percent to $1.63 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 45 cents per share with revenue of $1.69 billion.

Alpha Natural Resources and other coal producers are being hit by a double whammy of weak demand. Utilities need less coal to produce electricity because of mild weather and lower power generation, while construction overseas has slowed the appetite for coal to make steel.

"Market conditions for both metallurgical and thermal coal have been challenging throughout much of 2012," CEO Kevin Crutchfield said in a statement. "In the face of these market headwinds, Alpha has taken swift and decisive actions to right-size our operational footprint and our cost structure."

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