James River Coal Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of coal miner James River Coal Co. (Nasdaq: JRCC  ) surged 15% in intraday trading Monday after announcing plans to buy International Resource Partners for $475 million in cash.

So what: The purchase, which includes coal marketing and trading business Logan & Kanawha Coal Co., will roughly double James River's size and greatly increase its exposure to metallurgical coal, used to produce steel. Ever-growing resource demand in countries like China and India have sent met coal prices surging over the past few months, fueling a recent spike in coal acquisitions as well.

Now what: Don't let today's 15% pop scare you away from James River. From Mr. Market's reaction, James River seems to be getting a great deal on International Resource at a time when big peers such as Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI  ) and Alpha Natural (NYSE: ANR  ) are all looking for inexpensive ways to pounce on rocketing steel demand. Additionally, James River shares have lagged the coal sector as a whole over the past year, making it a relatively interesting bet as well.

Interested in more info on James River? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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