Sep. 18, 2014, 10:21 AM| 8 Comments
Aug. 28, 2014, 7:07 AM| Comment!
Aug. 20, 2014, 4:57 PM
- An advertisement from Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) promoting coal as an energy source is misleading in its use of the phrase “clean coal,” according to the U.K.'s regulator for advertising standards.
- Upholding a complaint from the World Wildlife Fund, the regulator says consumers were likely to interpret the advertisement as a claim that “clean coal” processes don’t produce carbon dioxide or other emissions, and the ad must be changed before it runs again.
- The agency rejects a complaint from the WWF that BTU’s statement that “energy poverty” is the biggest human and environmental crisis was misleading and unsubstantiated.
Aug. 5, 2014, 7:49 AM
- Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) raises its Q3 guidance after deciding to trim back its metallurgical coal production in Australia.
- BTU now expects an adjusted Q3 loss of $0.36-$0.49 a share, better than its earlier forecast of a $0.40-$0.53 loss, and says it is reducing met coal output by ~1.5M tons/year from its Burton Mine in Queensland, Australia, as production levels from the mine are "not sustainable in the current market environment."
- BTU also expects to trim production levels to ~1M tons/year, cutting its annual average cost estimate for Australia to the low $70/ton range, as it plans to use reduced equipment fleets to target lower-cost reserves.
Jul. 29, 2014, 10:33 AM
- Arch Coal (ACI +3.5%) moves higher after its Q2 earnings loss came in better than expected as operating costs per ton fell 7%.
- Q2 sales fell 7% Y/Y to $713.8M, missing analyst consensus, but operating costs per ton fell to $20.55 from $21.19.
- ACI lowers its FY 2014 sales volume targets, including cutting its thermal sales volumes forecast to 124M-130M tons from 124M-132M tons to reflect the effects of transportation bottlenecks and the impact of a fall in steel production.
- Other coal names also are higher: ANR +4.3%, ARLP +2.4%, PVA +1.9%, WLB +1.9%, BTU +1.4%, RNO +0.9%, WLT +0.8%, KOL +0.4%.
Jul. 25, 2014, 10:56 AM
Jul. 22, 2014, 10:59 AM
- Peabody Energy (BTU +1.5%) moves higher after reporting a Q2 loss that was in line with estimates and a ~2% rise in revenue, helped by an increase in shipments and prices at its mining operations in the western U.S.
- Q2 U.S. mining revenue rose 6.2% to $1.03B, while revenue per ton gained 1.1%, but revenue from Australian mining operations fell 5% to $744.8M, with revenue per ton down 15%.
- Issues downside EPS guidance for Q3, now seeing a loss of $0.40-$0.53 vs. analyst consensus expectations for a $0.18 loss.
- Nevertheless, BTU sees market conditions improving, noting that coal's market share of global energy consumption is now 30%, highest since the 1970s, U.S. coal demand has been expanding for the past two years, and seaborne market fundamentals are seen improving into 2015.
Jul. 22, 2014, 8:02 AM
Jul. 21, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jul. 16, 2014, 2:18 PM
- Unloved Alpha Natural Resources (ANR +6.4%), Arch Coal (ACI +1.9%) and Peabody Energy (BTU +2.4%) are popping today thanks to China’s strong GDP reading and CSX’s solid earnings, but FBR analyst Mitesh Thakkar is not optimistic about the coal stocks heading into earnings.
- FBR expects most of the earnings calls to be focused on the two major challenges for coal producers - weak met coal pricing and rail service limiting steam coal volume - over and above company-specific issues.
- The firm lowers its 2014 EBITDA estimates by an average of 12% for the group, and cuts stock price targets for Cloud Peak Energy (CLD +1.2%) and Walter Energy (WLT +5.2%) by a dollar each, preferring steam coal names and/or low-cost met coal assets with solid balance sheets.
Jul. 9, 2014, 5:34 PM
- Peabody Energy (BTU) says it is still in talks with Nathan Tinkler about the sale of its Wilkie Creek mine in Queensland state, following a report that the former Australian billionaire missed a payment for the asset.
- BTU is said to have granted an extension to Tinkler and his New York-based financiers, although it’s not clear for how long.
- BTU agreed in May to sell the mine to Tinkler's company for $70M and the assumption of liabilities including rail and port obligations, but a June 30 deadline for the payment was missed.
Jul. 7, 2014, 12:44 PM
- Coal stocks suffer a beating after Deutsche Bank downgrades Peabody Energy (BTU -3.3%) to Hold from Buy with a $19 price target, down from $23, to reflect lower realized coal prices (particularly metallurgical coal) and anticipated ongoing cost pressures in foreseeable future.
- Consol Energy (CNX -1.7%) is the firm’s only Buy-rated coal stock because of the company’s “fast-growing natural gas business and solid financial position.”
- Although the Deutsche team says its focus is shifting to more company specific stories from an emphasis on sector performance, other coal companies are sharply lower: ACI -4.3%, ANR -4.8%, YZC -1.3%, CLD -2.4%, WLT -3.6%, RNO -1.5%, WLB -2%.
Jun. 6, 2014, 3:43 PM
- Consol Energy (CNX) shares rose to a nearly three-year high before pulling back, after Goldman Sachs raised its rating to Buy and cited CNX's strong free cash flow and growing position in the Marcellus fields.
- Goldman said CNX trades at a deep discount to its sum-of-the-parts value, and points to four pillars to its positive view: improving free cash flow in the coal segment, a major E&P production ramp, potential for asset sales and restructuring, and a strong balance sheet.
- Investors also are optimistic that CNX can weather the EPA's proposed cuts in carbon emissions at U.S. power plants; Sterne Agee thinks CNX is perhaps the best-positioned coal miner to meet the new requirements, "given its low-cost energy production and excess asset value."
- As Goldman praised CNX, it downgraded Peabody Energy (BTU -1.4%) and cut price targets for Alpha Natural Resources (ANR +0.7%), Arch Coal (ACI +3.8%)and Walter Energy (WLT +1.2%).
Jun. 6, 2014, 8:28 AM
- Consol Energy (CNX) +1.6% premarket after Goldman Sachs upgrades shares to Buy from Neutral with a $55 price target, up from $49, to reflect Marcellus and Utica production growth, strong free cash flow in coal and potential catalysts from the upcoming analyst day.
- However, Goldman downgrades Peabody Energy (BTU) to Neutral from Buy and cuts its price target to $15 from $21, citing its expectations for lower international thermal coal and met prices; BTU -1.4% premarket.
Jun. 5, 2014, 3:26 PM
- Gains in coal stocks (KOL) have gone up in smoke thanks to new rules from the EPA that would limit its use as a fuel for power generation, but shares are bouncing a bit today as Stifel analysts make the case for coal as a worthwhile investment.
- Coal’s power market share dropped from 49% to 39% while the natural gas share rose from 19% to 27% from 2005 to 2013, but Stifel argues that much of the investment case for U.S. coal centers on its ability to step in as a low-cost, reliable Plan B if Plan A (gas and renewables) falls short, and the cold weather-impacted Q1 offered a glimpse of what this might look like.
- Stifel favor exposure to U.S. coal mining firms in low-cost regions including the Illinois Basin, Powder River Basin and Northern Appalachia; these include Buy-rated Peabody Energy (BTU +2.2%), Cloud Peak Energy (CLD +2.2%) and Consol (CNX +3.6%).
- Also: ANR +5.6%, WLT +4.8%, ACI +3.4%, WLB +1.2%.
Jun. 3, 2014, 12:45 PM
- EPA chief Gina McCarthy says she expects for significant changes in proposed state emission goals before a final rule is issued next year if the individual states show they can’t meet the targets.
- McCarthy says the agency made changes when developing its rules on mercury pollution in 2012 after utilities complained, and says she "wouldn’t be surprised if we made significant” revisions to the carbon proposal.
- McCarthy notes "confusion" around the targeted 30% emission cuts, saying it’s not a goal of the plan but an estimate of what the EPA thinks can be achieved.
- Coal names are broadly lower: WLT -4.4%, ACI -3.7%, ANR -2%, ARLP -1.9%, CNX -1.3%, CLD -0.3%, BTU -0.2%.
- Big utilities are mostly higher: EXC +1.6%, AEP +1%, NRG +0.7%, D +0.5%, XEL +0.4%, SO +0.3%, PEG +0.2%, NEE +0.1%, DUK -0.2%
- ETFs: XLE, XLU, TAN, ERX, KOL, IDU, VDE, OIH, ERY, FCG, VPU, DIG, KWT, GASL, DUG, IYE, GASX, PXJ, RYE, FENY, UPW, RYU, FUTY, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
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