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Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (ANR)

- NYSE
  • Thu, Jan. 15, 3:59 PM
    • Barclays is bullish on steel producers thanks to improving U.S. steel demand that should offset the downward trend in steel pricing, neutral on copper miners as lower than expected metal supply will outweigh a slowdown in Chinese consumption growth, and cautious on coal as low nat gas prices along with growing utility regulations and slowing Chinese demand for imported coal will hurt demand.
    • In steel, the firm's Overweight-rated steel stocks Nucor (NYSE:NUE) and Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) stand to gain from steel consumption growth from the U.S. construction, manufacturing and automotive industries while offering little direct exposure to the troubled energy sector.
    • In copper, both Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) and Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) boast high-probability mining expansion projects over the next two years, but Barclays considers pure-play SCCO's overall risk profile more favorable.
    • In coal, Cloud Peak (NYSE:CLD) offers a relatively healthy balance sheet and reasonable valuation on realistic pricing, while Alpha Natural (NYSE:ANR) and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) struggle under heavy debt from ill-timed acquisitions exacerbated by very slim profitability.
    | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 14, 12:39 PM
    • Citi cuts price targets for iron ore to $58 for 2015 and $62 for 2016, down from its prior estimates of $65 for both years, and lowers its outlook for thermal and met coal.
    • Citi warns its downwardly revised forecast means it now expects earnings for major mining companies will fall by 9%-21% for 2015 and by 3%-16% in 2016.
    • Rio Tinto (RIO -2.5%) is the exception, as Citi sees earnings rising 7.1% this year and 10.6% next year due to the company’s greater exposure to the weaker Australian dollar.
    • The firm cuts its price target for Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF -7.2%) by 8% to £3.60 from £3.90 and sees earnings falling 21% and 16% respectively in 2015 and 2016.
    • Citi says it is still bullish on the sector, but warns that metals and mining companies will only slowly grind higher over the next few years.
    • Also: BHP -4.5%, VALE -5%, FCX -12%, SCCO -4.9%, TCK -9.7%, CLF -4.4%, CENX -9.1%, MT -4.2%, X -4.9%, NUE -3.4%, STLD -2.6%, BTU -9.8%, ANR -8.8%, ACI -8.9%.
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  • Tue, Jan. 13, 7:14 PM
    • The Obama administration reportedly plans to require the oil and gas industry to cut methane emissions by as much as 45% over the next decade, with the EPA expected to issue proposed regulations this summer and final regulations by 2016.
    • The proposal would be a victory for environmental groups that have lobbied the administration to force the oil and gas industry to cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas tied to climate change.
    • Potentially related tickers include KOL, BTU, WLT, CNX, ACI, ANR, YZC, ARLP, AHGP, NRP, PVG, PVA, OXF, CLD, WLB.
    | 62 Comments
  • Sun, Jan. 4, 3:49 PM
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  • Dec. 30, 2014, 5:01 PM
    • Alpha Natural (NYSE:ANR) has closed the sale of its Amfire Mining Co. subsidiary to Rosebud Mining for $86M - $75M in cash + the assumption of liabilities. Amfire owns ten mines and four preparation plants/loadouts located in seven Pennsylvania counties.
    • Alpha still owns two mines in Southwestern Pennsyvania. The company had $1.2B in cash/short-term investments at the end of September, and $3.9B in debt.
    • Shares rose 5.9% in regular trading.
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  • Dec. 29, 2014, 10:26 AM
    • Pummeled this year thanks to slumping coal prices, a general rout in commodities names, and (in some cases) bankruptcy fears, coal stocks are seeing bargain-hunters emerge on a quiet late-December trading day.
    • Gainers: CLF +8.2%. WLT +4.6%. ACI +3.3%. BTU +2.1%. ANR +3.8%.
    • On SA, Equity Watch recently argued more pain is in store for the U.S. coal industry 2015, given the April implementation of MATS regulations, declining thermal coal demand (due to the retiring of coal-fired plants), and an unfavorable global supply/demand balance for metallurgical coal. The author does, however, think rising Asian demand could provide some relief for U.S. firms.
    • ETF: KOL
    | 12 Comments
  • Dec. 2, 2014, 3:35 PM
    • Walter Energy (WLT -29.2%) sells off nearly 30% following a note from BB&T Capital predicting the coal company would fall into bankruptcy in 2015.
    • BB&T thinks WLT has enough cash to get through 2015 at the current met coal price of $119/metric ton, but believes WLT's board "will reach the conclusion before that point that the met market won't improve enough over the next couple of years to save the company from needing to restructure."
    • Most other coal names also are lower: ANR -2.3%, ACI -1.9%, CLD -3.1%, CLF -2.2%, CNX -0.7%, BTU +0.6%.
    | 26 Comments
  • Nov. 28, 2014, 10:25 AM
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  • Nov. 24, 2014, 6:44 PM
    • Hedge funds are betting that some of the largest U.S. coal companies are heading for the financial slag heap by snapping up their bonds on the cheap; if the companies go bankrupt, they aim to swap the debt for controlling shares, and mines and other assets can be sold at a profit once coal prices rebound.
    • These vulture funds have used these tactics in other ailing industries such as air travel and paper manufacturing, but an improving economy has left them with few new targets this year; more of the funds are descending on big coal as declining coal prices catch up with mining companies that borrowed too heavily.
    • Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) is said to be a favorite of distressed-debt investors, since it owns some low-cost mines that produce metallurgical coal and could be profitable immediately if they aren’t saddled with WLT’s debt; Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) also have seen heavy interest.
    | 20 Comments
  • Nov. 21, 2014, 6:45 PM
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  • Nov. 21, 2014, 10:28 AM
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  • Nov. 20, 2014, 5:42 PM
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  • Nov. 14, 2014, 2:39 PM
    • Thermal coal and coal stocks are rallying after Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY) said it would halt production at its Australian mines for three weeks to try to tackle a global supply glut.
    • Deutsche Bank says the move is an important signal from the world’s largest producer of seaborne thermal coal: “Taking 5M tonnes out of the 1.1B [a year] seaborne market is a relatively small starting point, but may mark the start of more to come."
    • But other analysts say it is no sure thing that Glencore’s move would be copied by others or lead to permanent mine closures; unlike some rivals, Glencore has less exposure to "take or pay” contacts which oblige miners to pay charges of up to $25/metric ton to use rail and port.
    • ACI +10.7%, ANR +10.1%, WLT +5.2%, BTU +4.3%, CLF +3.2%, CLD +2%, CNX +1.9%.
    • ETF: KOL
    | 6 Comments
  • Nov. 14, 2014, 9:58 AM
    • Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who oversaw the West Virginia mine that exploded in 2010 and killed 29 people, was indicted yesterday on federal charges related to a safety investigation that followed the blast.
    • Blankenship could face up to 31 years in prison if convicted of conspiring to violate safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine.
    • Alpha Natural Resources (ANR -1.6%), which acquired Massey in 2011 for $7.1B, agreed in 2013 to pay ~$209M to resolve a federal criminal investigation into the explosion and paid $265M to settle a Massachusetts pension fund lawsuit; ANR still faces claims in Delaware from investors over Massey’s business practices.
    | 5 Comments
  • Nov. 6, 2014, 3:35 PM
    • “The fundamental case for coal is strengthening but requires several years of patience," and coal miners (NYSEARCA:KOL) still pose too much short-term risk for investors, J.P. Morgan analyst John Bridges says.
    • The coal sector is "very much a weather trade" which is sensitive to this winter’s temperatures, Bridges says, "consequently, without another particularly cold winter or a direct cyclonic hit on Australia’s coking coal mines, coal prices and thus the coal equities are likely to remain volatile through the 2014-15 winter."
    • In the sector, Bridges recommends Consol Energy (CNX +0.6%), Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP -0.4%) and Foresight Energy (FELP +1.7%), as only high-yielding coal MLPs are resonating with investors.
    • Most big coal names are adding to yesterday's gains, as the IEA predicts world coal demand to grow 2.3% in 2015, mostly undaunted by stricter clean air regulations and competition from cheap natural gas: ANR +5.1%, ACI +4.7%, BTU +0.5%, WLT -1.1%, CLD +0.9%.
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  • Nov. 5, 2014, 12:24 PM
    • Coal stocks (NYSEARCA:KOL) are rallying in the hope that the new balance of power in D.C. can at least halt what the companies view as an attack on their livelihood.
    • Strategas' Daniel Clifton thinks there’s a good chance the new Congress will “slow down EPA rules on coal” which have limited its use by utilities, and any approval for the Keystone XL pipeline would mean more rail transport for coal, a problem Peabody Energy (BTU +4.4%) has said was limiting its coal sales.
    • ANR +5.8%, CNX +3%, WLT +6.3%, CLD +4.5%, ACI -0.2%.
    | 15 Comments
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Company Description
Alpha Natural Resources Inc along with its subsidiaries is engaged in extracting, processing and marketing steam and metallurgical coal from surface and deep mines, and sells it to electric utilities, steel and coke producers, and industrial customers.