UPDATE 3-Arch Coal to delay bond interest payment as bankruptcy looms

Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:35pm EST
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* Co says has 30 days to continue talks with creditors

* Co may file for bankruptcy this year-BB&T Capital Markets

* Shares rise as much as 35 pct (Adds analyst's comment)

By Amrutha Gayathri

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Arch Coal Inc, the second-largest coal miner in the United States, delayed a $90 million interest payment that was due Tuesday, pushing back a widely expected bankruptcy filing.

The company's shares shot up nearly 35 percent to $1.20.

"It tells you how bad things have become when hanging on becomes a victory," analysts at BB&T Capital Markets wrote in a note. "This year, an ACI filing looks like a near certainty."

The company was widely expected to file for bankruptcy by Tuesday.

If Arch Coal files a Chapter 11 petition, it will become the fourth coal miner to declare bankruptcy this year, joining Walter Energy Inc, Alpha Natural Resources Inc and Patriot Coal.   Continued...