Arch Coal Emerges from Bankruptcy, FBR Initiates at Outperform

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St. Louis-based coal producer Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ARCH) filed for bankruptcy protection in January of this year, seeking relief from more than $5 billion in total debt. Wednesday morning the company announced that it has completed its restructuring and has now emerged from bankruptcy protection with new equity, and that it will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under a new ticker symbol, ARCH.

In its announcement, the company said it is exiting bankruptcy with more than $300 million in cash on its balance sheet and debt of $363 million, around 7% of the debt on Arch’s books back in January. Cash requirements for the coming year are currently projected at $55 million for capex and debt service of $33 million. Arch also has arranged third-party surety bonds to cover 100% of its reclamation bonding requirements.

According to the SEC filing, Arch has issued 24.59 million shares of an authorized total of 299.59 million shares of Class A common stock and issued all 410,166 shares of authorized Class B common stock. The company also has authorized 50 million shares of preferred stock, though none has yet been issued.

CEO John W. Eaves said:

Today marks the beginning of a new era for Arch Coal. We are extremely pleased with what we have accomplished during our highly expeditious restructuring process, and are eager to move forward with our compelling plan for value creation. I am confident we have all the pieces in place for long-term success – an extraordinary workforce, cost-competitive assets, a high-quality reserve base, a clean balance sheet and an excellent management team.

We are particularly pleased to be emerging in a resurgent metallurgical market, and look forward to similar strengthening in thermal coal markets in the months ahead. With our enhanced financial foundation and top-tier assets, we believe we are exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on both.

… I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Arch’s employees, who have been instrumental in achieving this excellent outcome. Looking ahead, we will continue our efforts to manage costs rigorously, provide superior service to our customers and strengthen relationships with our business partners, while demonstrating the same unwavering commitment to mine safety and environmental protection that has become a hallmark of our great company.

Late in 2015 the company tried to get its lenders to accept an exchange offer, but fearing dilution to the collateral behind the loans, the lenders rejected the deal. Analysts at FBR said Wednesday morning that their firm is initiating coverage on Arch with an Outperform rating and a price target of $71 a share.

In over-the-counter trading, Arch Coal shares opened at just under five cents. The 52-week high, prior to the bankruptcy filing, was $4.80. The OTC symbol is ACIIQ.