One month ago we were quite amused by what at that time was one of the most ridiculous short squeezes we have ever seen when the stock of Peabody Energy, exploded higher from $2 to about $6 in days on… nothing.
Many scratched their heads at this move as nothing fundamentally had changed in the company’s deteriorating operations, and its bonds are among the most distressed issues trading currently. The move was even more bizarre when just a few days later Peabody warned it may file for bankruptcy protection imminently.
And earlier today, it did just that, when in a historic event, one which is perhaps the lowlight of the sad demise of the US coal industry, U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal producer, which employs 8,300 workers, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, the most powerful convulsion yet in an industry that’s enduring the worst slump in decades. The stock has finally responded accordingly.
The company filed Chapter 11 petitions for most of its U.S. entities in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis Wednesday, listing $10.1 billion in debt. All of Peabody’s mines and offices are continuing to operate and are expected to continue doing so for the duration of the process.