By St. Louis Business Journal

Arch Coal Inc. said Friday its fourth-quarter profit jumped to $47.8 million, compared with $1.5 million in the prior-year quarter.

Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 15 percent to $835.4 million, up from $725.5 million a year earlier.

For full year 2010, Arch reported a profit of $158.9 million on record revenue of $3.2 billion, compared with a profit of $42.2 million on revenue of $2.6 billion in 2009.

"Arch's quarterly financial results reflect better coal market conditions than a year ago," Chairman and Chief Executive Steven Leer said in the earnings release. "While our overall performance was solid, quarterly results were dampened by lower-than-expected shipment levels, poor Eastern rail service and lower-than-planned production at Mountain Laurel" in West Virginia.

Last week, Arch said it signed an agreement with Canadian Crown Corp. Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal and other bulk commodity marine terminal located near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to facilitate coal exports to Pacific Rim markets.

Earlier this month, acquired a 38 percent interest in Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview, LLC, the owner of a bulk commodity terminal near Longview, Wash., for $25 million, to facilitate coal exports to Asia.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI) is the second-largest U.S. coal producer, fueling roughly 8 percent of the nation's electricity.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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