Why Arch Coal Shares Jumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of coal miner Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI  ) jumped 24% today after the company reported second-quarter earnings that weren't as bad as expected.

So what: Revenue came in at $1.06 billion, well ahead of the $998 million target analysts had set. Loss per share on an adjusted basis was $0.10 -- also ahead of the $0.18 analysts thought the company would lose.

On a GAAP basis, however, the company lost $435.5 million, or $2.05 per share, as it took charges for closing some of its coal mines.

Now what: I guess investors are excited about results that are "less bad" than they were expecting, but I still don't see a lot to get excited about. Arch Coal is losing money and with the only bright spot in coal, metallurgical coal, the company reduced its sales expectations. I think this is a short-term bump, and I still don't like the direction the coal industry, or Arch Coal, is currently headed.

Interested in more info on Arch Coal? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

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