Arch Coal Filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: The Market Reaction


Jan. 19 2016, Updated 1:27 p.m. ET

Market reaction to Arch Coal’s bankruptcy

On January 11, 2016, Arch Coal (ACIIQ) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although its bankruptcy was widely anticipated, stocks of major coal mining companies took a hard fall after the news. Peabody Energy (BTU), Consol Energy (CNX), and Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) hit all-time lows.

The VanEck Vectors Coal ETF (KOL) tracks the overall performance of major coal mining companies around the world. Since the news of Arch Coal’s bankruptcy, the value of the ETF has continued its downhill slide. It lost more than 5% in value in three successive trading sessions that began on January 11, 2016, the day Arch Coal declared bankruptcy.

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Arch Coal stock performance

Since Arch Coal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the stock has lost more than 80% of its value. Effective January 12, 2016, trading in Arch Coal common stock was suspended on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange).

Currently, Arch Coal’s common stock doesn’t trade on any of the major stock exchanges in the United States. However, it’s trading as a pink sheet or penny stock on OTC (over-the-counter) markets with the ACIIQ ticker.

Unlike a normal stock exchange, OTC markets are decentralized markets. They provide liquidity in securities not listed on a stock or derivative exchange. Trading on OTC markets is done through a network of dealers who carry an inventory of securities to facilitate buy and sell orders.

Scope of this series

In this series, we’ll find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the major factors that led to Arch Coal’s bankruptcy?
  • What does bankruptcy mean for Arch Coal investors?
  • What’s next for Arch Coal?

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