Beth Steel sells West Virginia coal mine It will take a $15 million charge


BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Bethlehem Steel Corp. said yesterday that it has sold a West Virginia coal mine to A. T. Massey Coal Co. and will take a pretax third-quarter charge of about $15 million on the sale. Terms weren't disclosed.

The mine, which has 350 employees, produced about 1 1/2 million tons of coal last year. It produces coal that is used to make coke, one of the raw materials in steelmaking.

The charge will cut third-quarter earnings by about 10 cents a share on a pretax basis, a company spokesman said.

A. T. Massey, based in Richmond, Va., is the fourth-largest U.S. coal producer. Bethlehem Steel said the sale included certain equipment and property, the mineral rights to the deep mine, and the leasing of other mining facilities and equipment.

Excluding charges, Bethlehem Steel is expected to earn about 20 cents a share in the third quarter, based on the average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. The company earned $34.4 million, or 22 cents, in the year-earlier quarter.

Officials at both companies said they didn't know what the coal mine's estimated reserves are.

The sale leaves Bethlehem Steel with one coal mine in Nicholas County, W.Va., that produces steam coal for the electric utility industry. A Bethlehem Steel spokesman said the company has no plans to sell that mine.

Bethlehem Steel shares rose 50 cents to $10.75 yesterday.

Pub Date: 9/04/96

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