Arch Coal Earnings Slide

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Arch Coal Inc. says its first-quarter earnings slumped due to a weak U.S. market for coal used to generate electricity. The company says it will curtail production this year.

The results were well short of Wall Street’s expectations and shares fell in premarket trading.

In the January-March quarter, the St. Louis-based company’s net income totaled $1.2 million, or a penny a share. That compares with $55.6 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue was $1.04 billion, up 19 percent from $872.9 million in the 2011 quarter.

After excluding certain one-time items, Arch reported an adjusted loss of $0.04 per diluted share in the recent quarter.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 16 cents per share on revenue of $1.12 billion.

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