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at MarketWatch.com (Mar 4, 2013)
at MarketWatch.com (Mar 4, 2013)
at CNBC.com (Jan 16, 2013)
at MarketWatch.com (Dec 3, 2012)
at CNBC.com (Nov 6, 2012)
at MarketWatch.com (Nov 5, 2012)
at MarketWatch.com (Nov 5, 2012)
at CNBC.com (Oct 12, 2012)
at CNBC.com (Oct 4, 2012)
at CNBC.com (Sep 20, 2012)
at MarketWatch.com (Sep 5, 2012)
at CNBC.com (Aug 31, 2012)
at CNBC.com (Aug 1, 2012)
at MarketWatch.com (Mar 16, 2012)
at CNBC.com (Jan 25, 2012)
KOL vs. ETF Alternatives
The Market Vectors® Coal ETF (KOL) seeks to replicate, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors Global Coal Index (MVKOLTR), a rules-based, modified-capitalization-weighted, float-adjusted index intended to give investors exposure to the overall performance of the largest and most liquid companies in the global coal industry.
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Monday, Dec 22013, 3:52 PM
Monday, Dec 22013, 3:52 PM| 5 Comments
- The late-day rise in coal stocks (KOL) is attributed to comments by the EPA's Gina McCarthy that the agency would give states "significant flexibility" in meeting carbon emission requirements from power plants; the EPA will propose the standards next June, McCarthy says.
- Analysts say such flexibility would be especially positive for James River Coal (JRCC +9.7%), whose shares momentarily popped 25% before calming down a bit.
- Also: ACI +3%, ANR +1.4%, BTU +0.6%, WLT +1.3%, CNX +1.6%, CLD +0.8%, ARLP -0.2%.
Saturday, Nov 302013, 8:25 AM
Saturday, Nov 302013, 8:25 AM| 14 Comments
- Coal (KOL) has regained a little ground this year as the fuel of choice for U.S. power plants, but not in Appalachia, where natural gas for electricity generation has become very cheap.
- So much gas is being pumped from the Marcellus Shale, and so few pipelines serve the area, that a glut has developed in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, driving down the price of electricity and making it hard for coal to compete, WSJ reports.
- FirstEnergy (FE) stopped generating power in October at two plants in the area, and AES has told regulators it may close its Beaver Valley coal plant near Pittsburgh; analysts think more closures are likely in the region.
- As natural gas prices have crept up closer to $4/M BTUs, coal recovered some of its market share, but gas in Pennsylvania is going for as low as $1.83; the longer gas and electricity prices stay low, the more likely it is that commercial coal plant owners could shut plants or file for bankruptcy.
Tuesday, Nov 262013, 10:25 PM
Tuesday, Nov 262013, 10:25 PM| 4 Comments
- Arch Coal (ACI) is a "top sell" idea at Goldman given what analyst Neil Mehta calls "high leverage and near-peak valuations."
- Price target on ACI is $3. See also: Macquarie reiterates ACI at Neutral, raises target.
- Meanwhile, Goldman isn't as pessimistic about Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and Walter Energy (WLT), which are both maintained at Neutral, although their price targets are cut to $8 (from $9) and $16 (from $18), respectively.
- Here's Mehta with more on the outlook for the sector: "We currently forecast benchmark met coal prices will improve from Q4 2013 levels of $152/MT to $160/MT, on average, in 2014. That said, we recognize downside risk to our Q1 2014 benchmark price of $160/MT given the recent pullback in spot pricing. Given only a gradual expected recovery in met coal prices, we favor cost-cutting, self-help leaders such as BTU or companies with restructuring potential such as SXC."
- Coal ETF - KOL
Thursday, Nov 212013, 7:23 PM
Thursday, Nov 212013, 7:23 PM| 9 Comments
- Al Gore praised Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in Toronto today after she announced legislation to ensure that once the last coal-fired plant closes next year it would be illegal to generate electricity by burning coal.
- But Ontario's electricity consumers are "getting burned," Tom Adams writes in the Financial Post; Ontario's power rates soon will surpass the highest of any state in the contiguous U.S., and the root cause of the "cancer" started with the coal phaseout that began a decade ago, he says.
- It's true that Ontario's carbon production has dropped dramatically, but closing the coal plants and going green had nothing to do with it, Terence Cook adds in another FP piece; he says the province reduced carbon emissions by rebuilding and refurbishing seven nuclear power plants.
- ETFs: KOL, NLR, NUCL.
Wednesday, Nov 202013, 6:50 PM
Wednesday, Nov 202013, 6:50 PM| 28 Comments
- Coal (KOL) may become the new tobacco if activist investors have their way; growing numbers of them, concerned about greenhouse gas emissions, are calling to divest holdings in companies that mine and burn coal.
- The U.K. today joined a U.S. commitment to minimize funding of foreign coal-fired power stations and says it will seek wider support for the pledge from other nations and development banks.
- What galls the activists: Global demand for coal is not in retreat. In 2011, coal was used to generate 30.3% of the world’s primary energy, the highest level since 1969, and the share slipped only to 29.9% last year.
- Like tobacco companies, coal producers may move to paying high dividends to attract investors amid an uncertain longer term future for the fuel.
- BTU, ACI, BHP, RIO, GLCNF, GLNCY, AAUKF, AAUKY, PCXCQ.
Friday, Nov 152013, 3:30 AM
Friday, Nov 152013, 3:30 AM| 9 Comments
- The Tennessee Valley Authority intends to shut eight coal-fired power stations in Alabama and Kentucky as part of a 2011 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to retire 18 such facilities by 2018.
- While expected, the TVA's move is a further blow to the coal industry as it struggles to cope with stricter environmental regulations and low natural-gas prices. The TVA is also reviewing some of its other coal facilities.
- Coal's loss is nuclear's gain, though, as the TVA's goal is to generate 40% of its electricity from nuclear power plants. (PR)
- Coal Tickers: CNX, BTU, CLF, ANR, WLT , ACI, JRCC.
- ETFs: URA, KOL
Thursday, Oct 172013, 5:24 PM
Thursday, Oct 172013, 5:24 PM| 16 Comments
- Short-oriented Bronte Capital's John Hempton sees Herbalife (HLF -0.1%) shares going still higher, possibly to $105/share, although he has reduced his stake. Of Ackman's missteps he says, "Before Ackman, we would never have been in Herbalife ... Ackman broke every rule of risk management. He came out there and said, 'We had this unbelievably strong short case against something, so we are 10% of our fund shorted and 25% of its float shorted and we did this in the most public way that you could imagine.'" Hempton made his bet against Ackman at $25-$26/share.
- On the short side, Hempton is particularly bearish on coal, and especially so on U.S. producers. He tethers his thesis on coal vs. natural gas price economics, which he believes outweigh any opportunity of demand increases from China as it transitions to cleaner seaborne coal.
- Coal ETF: KOL
- U.S. coal stocks: BTU, ANR, ACI, WLT, CLD, JRCC, CNX, RNO
Wednesday, Oct 22013, 11:59 AM
Wednesday, Oct 22013, 11:59 AM| Comment!
- Tohoku Electric Power reportedly will buy Australian thermal coal from Glencore Xstrata (GLCNF.PK) for delivery in the year from Oct. 2013 through Sept. 2014 at $85.80/metric ton, a big drop from their year-earlier contract price of $96.90/ton.
- The 11% price drop has wide significance for the coal market (KOL), as the two companies' term-pricing deals serve as a benchmark for other Japanese utilities, as well as for some Taiwanese and South Korean buyers.
Friday, Sep 272013, 4:19 PM
Friday, Sep 272013, 8:42 AM
Friday, Sep 272013, 8:42 AM| 4 Comments
- Goldman Sachs picks up coverage of the coal sector (KOL) with a Neutral rating, as it continues to face challenges including coal plant retirements, high net debt levels and commodity prices below historical averages, but some reasons for optimism, including the bottoming of met coal prices (Briefing.com).
- Among individual stocks, the firm upgrades Consol Energy (CNX) to Buy from Neutral, lifts Alpha Natural (ANR) and Walter Energy (WLT) to Neutral from Sell, downgrades Cloud Peak (CLD) to Neutral from Buy, and cuts Arch Coal (ACI) to Sell from Neutral.
- In its upgrade of CNX, Goldman cites improving cash flow from the coal segment, strong production growth from the E&P segment, potential for asset sales and restructuring, and a strong financial profile with industry-leading EBITDA growth and solid leverage metrics; CNX +1% premarket.
- In tagging ACI with a Sell rating, the firm cites one of the sector's highest leverage ratios, valuations near historical peak levels, a thermal outlook less bullish than consensus, and below-average earnings growth even if met coal prices recover above forecast; ACI -3.5% premarket.
Tuesday, Sep 242013, 6:25 PM
Tuesday, Sep 242013, 6:25 PM| 5 Comments
- First-generation carbon capture technology on a commercially viable scale likely will not be available until 2020, and will be expensive but not insurmountable, according to a panel at a Platts coal conference.
- Tom Sarkus, a director with the National Energy Technology Laboratory, foresees the technology raising the cost of electricity by 30%, based on an average of estimates produced by industry and scientific groups.
- Sarkus says the costs can be reduced as the technology is improved, but warns it will take years before such improvements make it to the market.
- The topic was given more weight in light of last week's EPA announcement (I, II) that new coal-fired power plants will need to limit carbon dioxide emissions to 1,100 lbs./mw-hour of power produced.
- ETFs: KOL, XLU, IDU, PUI, VPU, RYU, FXU, PSCU, UPW, SDP, UTLT.
Monday, Sep 232013, 2:59 PM
Monday, Sep 232013, 2:59 PM| 13 Comments
- As if coal companies (KOL) don't face enough problems in the U.S., China's once seemingly unlimited appetite for coal appears to be cooling.
- Economic growth in China is slowing, and rising public anger over air pollution is increasing pressure on utilities running the country's coal-burning power plants to shift to nuclear power and natural gas.
- Compounding the issue for U.S. miners is that China's own coal industry is improving; China sits on trillions of tons of coal reserves, so domestic mines should meet most of the country's demand for thermal coal as long as prices remain low and transportation costs affordable.
- There is already too much coal on the market, so China’s moves to cut down its “energy intensity” will hurt miners: ANR +0.8%, ACI -1.2%, WLT -0.1%, BTU +0.5%, CLD -0.6%, JRCC -1.4%, CNX -0.7%, RNO -1.2%.
Saturday, Sep 212013, 8:25 AM
Saturday, Sep 212013, 8:25 AM| 87 Comments
- Both critics and supporters of the new EPA draft regulations on CO2 emissions agree on one thing: This will be the final blow to many proposed coal plants.
- The truth is, U.S. coal generation already was in decline not because of climate regulations, but because of good ol' free-market capitalism; the boom in natural gas production has dramatically increased supplies, sent prices plummeting and prompted a shift away from coal.
- Among potential long-term winners: U.S. nat gas drillers such as CHK and XOM, drilling services firms such as HAL and BHI, pipeline companies such as SE and KMI, makers of gas-fired turbines such as GE and SI, power generators such as NRG and CPN if electricity prices rise.
- Likely losers: Coal appears headed for a decline, and companies with large Appalachian operations such as JRCC and ANR could suffer most as more coal comes from cheaper-to-access deposits in the Illinois Basin and Wyoming; big industrial companies, which have used low U.S. power prices as a competitive advantage, are concerned.
- ETFs: KOL, IDU, PUI, XLU, VPU, RYU, FXU, PSCU, UPW, SDP, UTLT.
Friday, Sep 202013, 11:29 AM
Friday, Sep 202013, 11:29 AM| 25 Comments
- No one should be surprised by the EPA's proposals for tough requirements on new coal plants - they had been anticipated for at least a year - but coal stocks are down across the board: ANR -4.6%, ACI -4.2%, WLT -4%, BTU -3.2%, CLD -2.6%, JRCC -1.4%, CNX -1.1%, RNO -0.6%.
- New coal plants are required to limit their emissions to 1,100 lbs. of CO2 per mw hour, ~700 fewer lbs. than most modern-day coal units; the only way to meet the standard is to use new carbon capture and storage technology that isn't currently used at any commercial-scale plant.
- The legal fight ahead will hinge largely on the EPA's ability to show that the technology is a viable option; the Clean Air Act requires the agency to show its standards are "achievable" and that required technology has been "adequately demonstrated."
- ETF: KOL.
Friday, Sep 202013, 5:13 AM
Friday, Sep 202013, 5:13 AM| 25 Comments
- The Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to today unveil restrictions on carbon emissions for new power plants, a key part of President Obama's policy to fight what many see as global warming.
- The EPA will reportedly set CO2 limits at 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour for coal plants and 1,000 pounds for most natural gas plants. To meet those restrictions, coal plants would have to capture and store 20-40% of their CO2 emissions using technology that isn't yet being deployed on a commercial scale. The industry argues that the work would be so expensive that it would preclude the building of new plants.
- More far-reaching limits for existing facilities are due to be proposed in June 2014.
- Companies affected include Patriot Coal (PCXCQ.OB), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Arch Coal (ACI), Peabody Energy (BTU), James River (JRCC), Cliffs Natural (CLF), Rhino Resource Partners (RNO), CONSOL Energy (CNX), Oxford Resource Partners (OXF), Walter Energy (WLT) and Natural Resource Partners (NRP).
- ETF - KOL.
Wednesday, Sep 182013, 6:39 PM
Wednesday, Sep 182013, 6:39 PM| 8 Comments
- EPA chief Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz defended the Obama administration's climate change plans before a contentious House energy committee today, saying coal-fired power (KOL) will continue but economic growth and environmental protection go "hand in hand.”
- The first step is for the EPA to issue rules for new plants, which are set to be released this week; McCarthy told the panel the agency will issue the rules for existing plants by June 2014.
- Carbon capture and storage technology "is feasible and it is available today," McCarthy says, but critics say it is unproven, expensive and nonviable.
- The EPA reportedly will use Southern Co.'s (SO) $4.7B Kemper plant in rural Mississippi as an example that CCS technology is ready, but so far the project is most noteworthy for a $1B cost overrun, legal battles, a revolt by ratepayers and a credit downgrade for the local utility.
- ETFs: XLU, IDU, PUI, VPU, RYU, FXU, PSCU, UPW, SDP, UTLT.