UPDATE 1-James River Coal warns of weak market for steel-making coal
* Revenue falls 42 pct to $160.1 mln
* Coal shipments down 26 pct to 2.16 mln tons
* Price per ton declines 22 pct
* Adjusted loss per share $1.04 vs est. $1.33
Aug 9 (Reuters) - James River Coal Co reported a 42 percent decline in quarterly revenue due to weak coal prices and said it had become more cautious about the market for coal used to make steel.
James River Coal, like most other coal miners, sells both metallurgical coal used to make steel and thermal coal used to generate electricity.
A slowdown in growth in China, along with oversupply, is weighing on demand for coal used in steel production.
"The (metallurgical coal) markets have clearly weakened during the past several months," Chief Executive Peter Socha said in a statement. "We are a little more cautious about met than we had been earlier this year."
James River Coal is being hurt also by lower demand for thermal coal as U.S. utilities switch to cheaper natural gas to fuel power plants.
The threat of regulation that could discourage use of coal - such as President Barack Obama's plan to craft new carbon emission rules for thousands of power plants - is also weighing on the U.S. thermal coal industry.
Thermal coal markets remain weak, but they could improve later this year and into 2014, Socha said.
Richmond, Virginia-based James River Coal said total coal shipments fell 26 percent to 2.16 million tons in the second quarter. Price per ton declined 22 percent to $69.72.
U.S. coal miners, including Alpha Natural Resources Inc , Arch Coal Inc and Peabody Energy Corp, reported bigger losses in the quarter ended June due to weak prices.
James River Coal's revenue fell to $160.1 million from $277.3 million in the three months.
A 36 percent decline in costs helped the company report a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.
The adjusted loss was $1.04 per share, below the average analysts' estimate of $1.33 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
A $101.2 million pretax gain helped James River Coal post a net profit of $52.6 million, or $1.16 per share, compared with a loss of $25.8 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.
The pretax gain was because the company swapped debt due in 2015 for notes maturing in 2018.