UPDATE 1-Alpha Natural adjusted loss widens as prices fall
Aug 2 (Reuters) - Coal miner Alpha Natural Resources Inc reported a wider second-quarter loss before special items on Friday as prices slid in a tough market.
Shares of Alpha fell 4.4 percent to $5.20 in trading before the market opened.
The company said the "adverse geological conditions" that prompted it to suspend production at its Cumberland underground thermal coal mine in July might mean higher unit costs in 2013.
Alpha, which is working to fix part of the roof at the Pennsylvania mine, said it expected the Eastern segment's adjusted cost of sales to be between $72 and $76 per short ton in 2013. It had previously forecast costs at $69 to $73.
The company also has mines in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Wyoming. It sells both metallurgical coal, used to make steel, and thermal coal, typically used to produce electricity.
Both businesses have been under pressure in recent quarters. A weak global steel market has weighed on metallurgical coal prices, while relatively inexpensive natural gas has hit demand for thermal coal.
In the second quarter, average realized prices fell across Alpha's business segments from a year earlier.
Alpha's net loss narrowed to $185.7 million, or 84 cents a share, from $2.23 billion, $10.14 a share, a year earlier, when the company took about $2.5 billion in impairment and restructuring charges.
Excluding those charges and other items, the adjusted loss widened to 59 cents a share from 33 cents. Revenue fell to $1.34 billion from $1.85 billion.
Analysts, on average, had been expecting a loss of 59 cents a share on revenue of $1.24 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.