Coal Stocks: A Year in Review
The industry's 2013 performance, highlighted by a 42% stock price decline from Arch Coal
Notice how coal aficionados hold their convictions. Despite negative momentum within the industry, many investors, including those in Liberty Coal
While trying to "time the bottom," some investors learned the brutal lesson that things can always get worse.
Unlike the underlying operational struggles that have hurt its peers, I believe Alpha Natural Resources
That said, as with anything else, I believe the timing is right, given the fact that not only does domestic thermal coal inventories continue to trend down, but there are also decent (I won't say great) advances in metallurgical coal. Not to mention, Alpha Natural will enter 2014 trading at or near its all-time lows.
Obviously, I can be wrong here. Lacking a crystal ball, there is no way to know where the market will go in 2014. But here we have modest evidence of a coal recovery, coupled with a depressed stock that just posted sequential improvement in revenue. If that is not the recipe for a good bet, I don't know what is.