Alpha Natural Cuts Guidance

It cites reduced productivity.
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Alpha Natural Resources


, an Appalachian coal producer, lowered its 2006 earnings outlook on the back of changing market conditions, decreased productivity in several deep mines and recent production curtailments, on Friday.

The company now expects to earn $58 million to $73 million, or 90 cents a share to $1.14 a share for the full year, compared with its earlier forecast of $1.50 a share to $1.91 a share. Adjusted earnings are expected to be $76 million to $91 million, or $1.18 a share to $1.42 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $103.4 million, or $1.63 a share for the full year.

The company reaffirmed its 2006 targets for coal sales revenues of $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion, and 28 million to 30 million tons sold. Coal production in the second half of 2006, not including purchased coal, is expected to be 12 million tons to 13 million tons, or about one million tons less than previously expected.

"We are exercising production discipline during this weaker market period, and we are also reviewing all capital commitments for 2007 to ensure that they meet our long-term return targets. We're focused on preserving cash flows and maximizing return on capital for our shareholders as we transition to a less robust coal market," the Abingdon, Va.-based company said.

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