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Alpha Natural Resources 1Q Net Soars Absent Prior-Year Charges

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Alpha Natural Resources Inc.'s (ANR) first-quarter profit more than tripled over a prior-year quarter skewed by acquisition charges, though adjusted earnings fell below expectations amid higher costs. Alpha is poised to become the world's third-biggest producer of steelmaking coal once it closes a planned merger with Massey Energy Co. (MEE), right as demand for the material picks up and supplies stretch thin. Massey shareholders are due to vote June 1 on the $7.1 billion takeover. In the latest quarter, Alpha's steelmaking coal shipments jumped 37% to 3.6 million tons. Alpha posted a first-quarter profit of $49.8 million, or 41 cents a share, up from $14 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding merger-related costs, health-care charges and other items, earnings from continuing operations were 65 cents, down from 69 cents. Revenue rose 23% to $1.13 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 92 cents on $1.06 billion in revenue. Shares closed Monday at $57.57 and were mostly inactive premarket. The stock is down 4.5% over the past month. -By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909;

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