April 24, 2018 Read More →

Delisting Will Move Westmoreland Coal Step Closer to Bankruptcy, Analysts Say

Bloomberg ($):

Ailing Westmoreland Coal Co., one of the nation’s biggest coal producers, will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market April 25.

That step will spook investors and nudge Westmoreland a step closer to bankruptcy, analysts said. If that happens, environmentalists fear there won’t be enough money left to pay for cleaning up the water and land polluted at the company’s existing mines.

Westmoreland is also pursuing three new mine permits in Montana. Taken together, those permits would open up almost 16,000 new acres for mining.

In an April 20 filing, Westmoreland said it would accept Nasdaq’s decision to delist its stock and trading will stop the morning of April 25. Westmoreland’s stock price closed April 23 at 20 cents, a 99.5 percent drop-off from the $43.59 it reached in August 2014.

But delisting will rattle investor confidence even further, according to Andrew Cosgrove, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “It just seems like the writing is on the wall. It would be really hard to come back from something like this. It’s a slow-moving train wreck,” Cosgrove said.

But even if Westmoreland is driven into bankruptcy, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the road for its mining operations. In fact, recent years have seen nearly all of the nation’s biggest coal companies—including Peabody Energy Corp., Alpha Natural Resources Inc., and Arch Coal Inc.—enter bankruptcy proceedings but emerge on the other end with a leaner capital structure and business plan.

More ($): Westmoreland Coal to Delist From Nasdaq as Trouble Mounts

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