Walter Energy, a producer of steelmaking coal in the US and Canada, rose to its highest price in four weeks after the British Daily Mail newspaper reported that global mining giants BHP Billiton and Glencore International may bid for the company.
Walter rose 5.3 per cent to $33.35 at the close in New York, the highest price since November 8. Walter was the day's best-performing member of the Stowe Global Coal Index.
Paul Blalock, a spokesman for Walter, declined to comment on the speculation, as did BHP and Glencore.
Walter produced 8.7 million tons of metallurgical coal, used in steelmaking, in 2011. The company will post an adjusted net loss of $150.6 million in 2012, according to the average of 11 analysts' estimates.
BHP settled its first-quarter contract to sell metallurgical coal to Asian steelmakers for $165 a metric ton, Doyle Trading Consultants said today. That's the lowest benchmark price since contracts shifted to quarterly settlements from annual agreements in the first quarter of 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.