THE RESULTS: Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources Inc.'s profit more than doubled in the third quarter to $66.4 million, or 29 cents per share, as it benefited from its acquisition of rival Massey Energy Co. and higher prices for coal used to make steel. Revenue more than doubled to $2.3 billion as coal prices rose about 51 percent and coal sales jumped 47 percent to more than 31 million tons.
THE MASSEY EFFECT: Alpha's $7.1 billion takeover of Massey in June made it the world's third-largest producer of metallurgical coal, used to make steel. During the quarter Alpha said shipments from legacy Massey operations contributed nearly 35 percent of its total coal revenue.
COAL FORECAST: Alpha said global demand for met coal remains "robust," driven primarily by growth in Asia. Demand for thermal coal is "muted" in the U.S. as power plants burn more natural gas and slow economic growth. Alpha estimates it will ship a total of 102.5 million to 109 million tons of coal in 2011 and a total of 118.5 million to 131 million tons in 2012.
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