Consol reports first quarterly net loss since 2007

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Consol Energy posted a net loss of $11 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter, the Cecil-based energy company announced today.

That's down from profit of $167 million and 73 cents reported the same quarter one year ago.

Consol warned investors earlier this month to expect the company's first quarterly net loss since 2007, owing the drop in income to planned and unplanned coal mine idlings.

A conveyor belt malfunction that temporarily idled four longwall mines slashed an estimated $53 million from the company's third-quarter income.

Total revenue for the quarter ended September 30 was $1.16 billion, down from the $1.52 billion of the same quarter in 2011.

Consol reduced production at its flagship Buchanan mine during the third quarter, saying the company did not want to sell in a depressed market.

"When temporary market imbalances occur as they did this quarter with our overseas customers, we choose to idle our mine rather than force tons into the market," J. Brett Harvey, Consol chairman and chief executive officer, said in a written statement. "Our actions, as well as the actions of others, should enable the metallurgical coal market to come into balance faster."

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Erich Schwartzel: eschwartzel@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.


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