Investors in the coal sector have been waiting for a light at the end of the tunnel for some time now, but so far any new lights have just been another oncoming train. Natural Resource Partners (NYSE:NRP) has held better than most though, as the company's strategy of operating as a royalty-collecting lessor helps mitigate some of the operating issues that miners like Arch Coal (ACI), Cloud Peak (NYSE:CLD), and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) have faced. It also has done the stock no harm to see management move in a similar direction to Penn Virginia Resource Partners (NYSE:PVR) and prioritize diversification away from coal.
Even with diversification, coal royalties are still two-thirds of the...
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