Managing a coal company over the past year and half has not been an enviable role. Prices have dropped, but not quite as fast as demand, thanks to the fossil fuel du jour: natural gas. That hasn't stopped CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX ) from taking diversifying moves to help its own cause. During this downturn, CONSOL has focused its capital spending on the development of natural gas in the Appalachia region while spending just enough to ensure that its coal business doesn't falter.
On the heels of a better-than-expected release from Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU ) and expectations from Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) that coal prices could rise somewhat in 2013, both businesses might be set to succeed in tandem. The price of natural gas has been climbing rapidly to start 2013, which should help coal regain some traction. And its East Coast export facility continues to provide access to the demanding European market. In the following video, Taylor Muckerman expects some positive news on Thursday and thinks you should, too.
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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 written 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.