My buddy Paul Nyden has an interesting story in the Gazette tonight about Massey Energy’s earnings release and conference call this week:
Massey Energy reported that “strong coal sales” increased its revenues by 25 percent to $681 million during the first three months of 2009, a record increase for the first quarter of any year.
Company revenues increased because the number of tons sold, and the revenue per ton, both increased by 12 percent between January and March 2009, according to its latest quarterly 8-K report, filed Tuesday evening with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
Yet Massey also plans to cut wages and benefits for its workers. Those cuts, which will begin Friday, will average about 6 percent, Massey CEO Don Blankenship said during a conference call for investors Wednesday morning.
Remember that Blankenship himself was already hit with a 17 percent pay cut last year, dropping his annual take to below $20 million, according to an Associated Press calculation.
And I’ve got a Massey story online as well, about the MSHA report on the electrocution last year at the Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine:
Federal mine safety officials have cited a Massey Energy subsidiary for two violations they say led to the May 2008 electrocution of a miner at the Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine in Logan County.
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration officials singled out the Aracoma Mine section foreman David R. Runyon, who inspectors said did not direct the worker who was killed to turn off power to a piece of equipment before performing maintenance on it.
And remember, as I pointed out in that story, that Massey’s lawyers tried to tell Judge Copenhaver in the Aracoma criminal case that this death was the fault of the poor fellow who got killed.