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Consol eyes 3Q loss on hit from idled mines

NEW YORK -- Shares of Consol Energy Inc. lost ground Monday after the coal and gas producer said it will post a third-quarter loss, due mostly to the idling of some mines.

The company didn't give a specific outlook, but said that the idling of some mines are took its toll on results for the quarter that ended last month. A number of mines have been temporarily shut down because of weak demand for coal that's used to produce electricity. A mild spring and winter has hurt the coal sector because it's significantly tamped down the demand for energy to heat or cool homes and businesses.

Demand for metallurgical coal used in steelmaking is also being hurt as the global economy struggles to grow.

Consol's coal unit produced 11.6 million tons during the quarter. Its total coal inventory fell by 0.7 million tons to 1.7 million tons during the three-month period. Sales of thermal coal, which is used to produce electricity, slightly outpaced scaled back production.

It now expects to produce between 13.4 and 13.8 million tons of coal during the fourth quarter.

Pittsburgh-based Consol plans to report third-quarter results on Oct. 25.

The stock fell $1.38, or 3.9 percent, to $33.76 before the opening bell. Shares have traded between $26.41 and $46.90 in the past 52 weeks, and ended Friday down 4.3 percent since the start of 2012.

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