Last updated: July 18. 2013 2:20PM - 159 Views
Michael Felberbaum
AP Business Writer

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Alpha Natural Resources says its loss widened in the first quarter, but the coal producer did better than expected.

The company on Thursday posted losses of $110.8 million, or 50 cents per share, for the period, compared with a year-ago loss of $28.7 million, or 13 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items, it lost 47 cents per share.

Revenue fell 31 percent to $1.33 billion.

Analysts expected a loss of 58 cents per share on revenue of $1.31 billion.

The coal industry has struggled amid continued soft demand as many utilities turned to cheaper natural gas. Less construction overseas also has slowed the appetite for coal to make steel.

Alpha, based in Bristol, Va., has more than 160 mines and processing plants in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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