Thermal Map

“Investors need to think about ‘normalized’ earnings power”  Peter Epstein

Walter Energy (WLT) reported results.  But WLT is a met coal name and just another derivative on China.  Our energy is focused on the depressed US thermal coal market.

US year to date coal production is down 5.5% from 2011.  EIA

Coal industry wins challenge to EPA water standards at Fuel Fix.

Illinois coal plant owner weighs Chapter 11Chicago Tribune.  One short TV clip is not analysis, but the surprisingly small coal sector receives consideration:  CNBC.  CLD at Stockcharts.

India’s Blackout Shed Light on Coal Demand at the WSJ.

“European spot prices have surged $5.65/mt since workers from Colombian private railway company Fenoco walked out…”  Platts

“Hey JJ Butler, what’s the deal with the Great Northern and Nextel stock certificates?”  Answer:  “All good capitalists know all about James J. Hill, and a decade ago Nextel was a big score of mine.  You know, like what we are looking for in the coal names.  If the coal trade works out I’ll buy the laminated U.S. Coal Activity Map as homage.  But be patient.”

When the natural gas inventory number came out at 10:30 this morning, natty took a 6% hit.  While the coal stocks may bottom before the fundamentals, gas production remains stubbornly high.  In spite of every management team talking green shoots, shoulder season could be treacherous.  Just maybe this will coincide with policy makers turning on the spigots.