Coal Co. Another Black Cloud For Paulson

Sep 22 2011 | 1:58am ET

Can John Paulson catch a break? Just when it seemed that Paulson & Co. might have turned a corner, rallying in the last days of August to cut its huge losses on the month, the firm—which has suffered more than its fair share of reversals this year—suffered another.

The battering of Alpha Natural Resources yesterday won't compare in magnitude for Paulson with its losses on financial stocks or on Sino-Forest Corp., whose implosion cost the firm more than $500 million. But it is another hit for a hedge fund that certainly doesn't need anymore.

ANR shares fell 22% yesterday after a rival warned that steelmaking coal output would disappoint. If Paulson still owns the 3.4 million shares in the company that it owned at the end of June, it lost more than $15 million yesterday.

It could have been worse: Paulson slashed its stake in ANR by two-third during the second quarter, The Wall Street Journal reports. But it could also have been better: The hedge fund built its stake in the first quarter—and AMR stock has fallen by more than 60% since the start of the year.

Paulson's main funds are down by double-digits this year.


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