Stephen Simpson, CFA
Long only, growth at reasonable price, value, research analyst

Cold Weather, Low Costs, And Higher Gas Helping Cloud Peak Energy

Powder River Basin coal specialist Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE:CLD) is a fairly simple coal play. Unlike Peabody Coal (BTU), Alpha Natural (ANR), or Arch Coal (ACI) that rely to varying degrees on metallurgical coal, exports, and/or thermal coal mined in Appalachia, Cloud Peak is a US-focused play on the lower-sulfur coal mined in the PRB region. If natural gas prices remain above $3.50/mmBTU, Cloud Peak should be able to log solid margins and generate good cash flow and if the U.S. gets even more stringent with rules concerning sulfur emissions, it will only help Cloud Peak.

Cloud Peak's leverage to gas prices is not lost on the Street. As PRB coal prices have marched from around $8/ton at...

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