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After a year when Natural Gas inventories hit record levels, it might surprise people to see that the weekly report is now showing inventory levels only 0.7% above the 5 year average. In fact, the important East market is 2.4% below that average.

With weak industrial demand, it's likely surprising to most that storage levels are now inline with normal trends. A lot of the burn down has been due to the gruesome weather, especially the record snows in the East. Regardless, though, the more normal inventory levels set us up for higher prices as demand returns.

To us, the natural gas stocks still reflect a return to prices in the $6-7 range and therefore we are more bullish on coal. For electricity demand or thermal coal, we remain bullish on Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE:CLD). A return to higher natural gas prices will push more utilities back to goal as a substitute fuel. Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) is another favorite, but we like it most for its coking coal used in making steel. Both will benefit regardless.





Disclosure: Long ANR, CLD