NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 04/19/12 -- The Coal Industry has been hit hard recently as a glut of natural gas, and slow growth in China has threatened demand. The PowerShares Global Coal fund has fallen more than 34.3% over the last year. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Coal Mining Industry and provides equity research on Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR) and Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU).
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Things may be turning around for the industry as recent problems with a reactor in South Korea, and recent shutdowns of Japanese reactors could be signs that coal will see a rapid increase in demand in 2012. A recent Bloomberg article stated that the Kori 1 reactor in South Korea was closed for safety checks on March 13. Five weeks after a power failure caused the temperature of its core to rise. If the reactor remains shut Korea will look to boosting coal purchases to replace the nuclear power generated by the reactor.
"Economically, coal is the best," said Osamu Fujisawa, an independent energy economist in Tokyo who estimates coal imports may gain as much as 2.45 million metric tons a year. "If you're trying to increase summer power generation, coal is the best in terms of cost."
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Alpha Natural Resources, a leading U.S. coal producer, plans to report its first quarter 2012 results before the market opens on Thursday, May 3, 2012. A conference call to review the results and current business conditions is scheduled to follow at 10:00 a.m. EDT that morning.
Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in clean coal solutions. With 2011 sales of 251 million tons and $8 billion in revenues, Peabody fuels 10 percent of U.S. power and 2 percent of worldwide electricity. On Thursday, April 19, 2012, Peabody Energy will announce the results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.
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