Have Coal Companies Finally Hit Rock Bottom?

Earnings season is in full swing for the first quarter, and Peabody Energy (NASDAQOTH: BTUUQ  ) came out with a positive forecast for things to come. After announcing a narrower than expected loss for the most recent quarter, the company stated that both domestic and international markets show signs of strength to forge on through 2013.

Where's the bullishness coming from?
With 10% growth expected out of China and continuing gas-to-coal switching, which reverses the 2012 trend in the U.S., demand could certainly pick up. These trends are led by the increasing urbanization of the Chinese population, and the fact that natural gas prices are reaching a point where gas is no longer the guaranteed cheaper option for power generation. This battle is far from over, but Peabody's near-term outlook has coal reclaiming some lost ground.

What makes this industry leader an investment candidate?
The coal industry in the United States has been in a state of flux since the arrival of a cheaper alternative for energy production: natural gas. Exports are becoming a much bigger part of the domestic coal landscape, and Peabody Energy has deals in place to get its cheaper coal from the Powder River and Illinois basins to India, China, and the EU. For investors looking to capitalize on a rebound in the U.S. coal market, The Motley Fool has authored a special new premium report detailing exactly why Peabody Energy is perhaps most worthy of your consideration. Don't miss out on this invaluable resource -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.

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