Coal Stock Articles

Buying Coal and Natural Gas

August 5, 2009 / Elliott H. Gue

Crude oil is far and away the most widely watched energy commodity. Although many investors fixate on every price change in the crude oil market, they ignore the fact that coal mining stocks have actually outperformed oil-related names in recent months. Prospective investors seeking exposure to the coal industry should remember that selectivity is the key to success. Some coal markets are booming...Read More

Cleaning Up Coal, Part II

February 26, 2009 / Roger Conrad

A month ago, I wrote a piece, Cleaning Up Coal, that highlighted prospects for the black mineral under the Obama administration. This week, we got an even better indication of what's in store, as the new president addressed a joint session of Congress.Promises from national leaders in such wide-ranging speeches are tailor-made to be broken, or at least badly bent. In this one, President Obama focu...Read More

Cleaning Up Coal

January 29, 2009 / Roger Conrad

"Obama will kill coal!" screamed an e-mail that made the rounds in the days just prior to the November 2008 election. The idea was obviously to scare up a few votes in coal country for Republican John McCain.As it turned out, Obama did lose coal country. There weren't nearly enough votes there to prevent his landslide victory, or the clean sweep by Congressional Democrats. But the message did stic...Read More

Clean Coal and Energy Efficiency

July 23, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

When I boarded the plane for Tokyo, I expected focus of this year's Group of Eight (G8) Summit in Hokkaido, Japan, to be alternative energy. Although we've certainly made money in alternatives, I see this as a highly limited solution for rising energy prices and environmental concerns.I was pleasantly surprised to see the major discussions turn to more practical, workable solutions, such as clean...Read More

Improving Efficiency

July 11, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

HOKKAIDO, Japan-Some cynics will argue that the annual G8 Summit is nothing more than a chance for world leaders to eat and drink well in a scenic resort area.In this case, they're half correct: I would agree that the Lake Toya region of Hokkaido, Japan, is among the most beautiful places I've ever had the occasion to visit, and the local seafood, produce and cuisine is unparalleled. Furthermore,...Read More

Brutal First Half

July 3, 2008 / Benjamin Shepherd

All three major indexes posted weekly declines. The Nasdaq Composite was the biggest loser, down 2.1 percent. The S&P 500 lost 1.3 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.5 percent. It was also a brutal first half. The Dow slipped 14.4 percent, the Nasdaq gave up 13.8 percent and the S&P 500 shed 12.8 percent.That's not a good start to the year. And although there's no reason to b...Read More

Energy Laggards

June 27, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

With oil cruising above $140 per barrel and natural gas at its highest levels since late 2005, it's hard to imagine that there could be any energy-related sectors that aren't flying higher.But that's not the case. As I have often noted, the energy sector isn't a homogenous group; not all sub-sectors of the industry move in the same direction at the same time. And not all energy-related groups actu...Read More

Coal Investors Take Their Lumps

May 16, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

Coal is public enemy No. 1 for most environmental activist groups. Certainly, there's some logic behind that opposition; after all, coal plants emit more sulphur dioxide, mercury and nitrous oxides than other fossil fuels.In addition, the drive to control carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions has become the cause celebre for most environmental groups. Coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel, emitting near...Read More

Electric Charge

April 23, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

On April 7 and 8, I attended the annual Energy Information Administration (EIA) conference in Washington, DC. The conference was expanded this year to a celebration of the agency's 30th year as the statistical arm of the US Dept of Energy. In reviewing my notes, it quickly became clear that a key topic was the outlook for the global electricity generation industry. More specifically, many of the s...Read More

Central Banker-Speak

April 23, 2008 / David Dittman

Back in March, the Bank of Canada (BoC) statement announcing a 50-basis-point interest-rate cut told of "clear signs that the US economy is likely to experience a deeper and more prolonged slowdown than had been projected in January."As of Tuesday morning, according to BoC Gov. Mark Carney, it's all happening. The BoC "is now projecting a deeper and more protracted slowdown in the US economy" and...Read More

Power and Profit Generators

April 9, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

Now isn't the time to speculate about the direction of crude oil prices.Instead, we need to focus on sustainability. Which market sector is most likely to make it if, or when, we head into recession?The answer is the core of the US and global utility industry-specifically, the power generation subsector of the energy market.And that means coal and natural gas.Both of these fuels have been on a tea...Read More


February 22, 2008 / Benjamin Shepherd

We've had another week of almost manic ups and downs in the markets as investors digest both good news and bad on the economic front as well as from companies. Despite the downward trend this week, we had a spectacular late afternoon rally after CNBC reported that a bailout for Ambac should be announced next week.Read More

There's Still Money in Coal

February 15, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

A year ago, few investors wanted anything to do with the coal markets. Inventories of coal at US utilities were tight at the end of 2005, but a warm winter in 2005-06 changed all that: Inventories ballooned, and coal prices plummeted. Most coal stocks saw declines of 50 percent or more from May 2006 through early 2007.Now the situation couldn't be more different. I've highlighted the ongoing tight...Read More

Scrambling for Coal

January 31, 2008 / Elliott H. Gue

The US is often called the Saudi Arabia of coal. And there's a good reason for that: The nation has more than 27 percent of the world's known coal reserves and some of the highest-quality deposits in the world. That's 90 billion metric tons more than Russia, the nation with the second-largest reserves.Somewhat surprising, the US hasn't traditionally been a big player in the export market for coal,...Read More

Coal Rush

November 28, 2007 / Elliott H. Gue

Forget oil: Coal is the world's fastest-growing source of energy. As the graph "Burn, Baby, Burn" shows, coal's importance as a global energy commodity is growing, even as oil's dominance gradually fades. Demand for coal in China and India will more than double by 2030; China alone opens a new coal-fired power plant roughly once every 10 days. (See the graph "China Syndrome.") That rapid build-out...Read More

The Great Coal Grab

November 16, 2007 / Elliott H. Gue

The US is often called the Saudi Arabia of coal. And there's a good reason for that: The nation has more than 27 percent of the world's known coal reserves and some of the highest-quality deposits in the world. That's 90 billion metric tons more than Russia, the nation with the second-largest reserves.With a resource so vast, it may come as a surprise that the US isn't a major player in the global...Read More

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