Met coal slide to hurt Alpha Natural, Walter Energy, Citi says

|About: Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (ANRZQ)|By:, SA News Editor

The price for met coal used to make steel has dropped to $125/ton from an already-low $132/ton, and Citigroup’s Brian Yu thinks Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and Walter Energy (WLT) stand to get hurt most among coal producers while Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) and Peabody Energy (BTU) can best withstand the slide.

Citi retains its Sell rating on ANR because of several marginal mines that risk closure in a low commodity price environment and from over-aggressive consensus estimates; the firm cuts its WLT 12-month target price to $14 from $17.50 given the multiple compression impact from met pricing.

Meanwhile, Nomura prefers Consol Energy (CNX) and raises its 2014 EPS estimate to account for high gas production growth and upside from improved unit costs and gas price upside.