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With prices very low, trading of Alpha stocks halted

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The New York Stock Exchange on Thursday stopped the trading of Alpha Natural Resources common stocks because of the company’s dramatically low stock prices.

On Aug. 1, 2008, Alpha’s stock reached the value of $104 per share. At the close of business on Wednesday, the value of Alpha’s stock had dropped to 24 cents a share.

NYSE Regulation Inc. also began proceedings to formally remove, or delist, the company’s stock, and its ticker symbol — ANR, from being traded on the market in the future. The company can appeal any decision made by the NYSE.

Alpha is also considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, under which it could reorganize its finances.

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On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported Alpha “is in talks [with creditors] to obtain financing for a potential bankruptcy filing early next month as it grapples with a severe downturn in coal prices, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Alpha reported it owed $3.1 billion in long-term debt as of March 31. But some analysts said a bankruptcy filing in not inevitable…

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