Coal Stocks are Cratering Today

Shares of Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) are trading down today on news that its Mountain Laurel mines in West Virginia are having production troubles.  Its earnings guidance is in the range of $1 to $1.40, down significantly from its earlier guidance of $1.75 to $2.15.  Company management are quoted as saying

The reduction in earnings guidance resulted largely from lost metallurgical coal production at the Mountain Laurel complex.  During the third quarter, Mountain Laurel encountered unfavorable geologic conditions and its longwall was idled for nearly 45 days following a roof fall in August.  The longwall restarted in late September, and is currently operating in the final panel of the Alma coal seam before it transitions to the Cedar Grove seam.

Shares of other coal companies are also trading down in sympathy.  Following is stock price performance information for Arch Coal and some of its competitors:

  • Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI): The shares are trading at $14.03, down $0.55, or 3.77%, on the day.  The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $13.27 to $36.99 and its market capitalization is $2.99 billion.  About the company: Arch Coal, Inc. mines, processes, and markets low sulfur coal from surface, underground, and auger mines located in the western United States and in the central Appalachian region.  The Company markets its coal primarily to electric utilities.
  • Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU): The shares are trading at $32.81, down $1.07, or 3.16%, on the day.  The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $32.61 to $73.95 and its market capitalization is $8.98 billion.  About the company:  Peabody Energy Corporation mines and markets predominantly low sulfur coal, primarily for us by electric utilities.  The Company also trades coal and emission allowances.  Peabody owns and operates mines in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, Illinois, Indiana, and Australia.  The Company also has a minority interest in a Venezuelan mine through a joint venture.
  • Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE:PCX): The shares are trading at $8.10, down $0.36, or 4.26%, on the day.  The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $7.97 to $29.20 and its market capitalization is $739.76 million.  About the company: Patriot Coal Corporation is a coal mining company.  The Company operates in Central and Northern Appalachia and the Illinois Basin.

(Note: Selected financial data are sourced from Google Finance.  All data are assumed to be accurate.)

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