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Coal Investors in a Quandary

Christopher Barker
September 24, 2009

If you feel your head spinning like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, you might just be a coal investor.

First one way, and then the other, analysts are spinning confusion, with massively conflicting sentiments for a sector that's been on fire.

The Market Vectors Coal ETF (NYSE: KOL  ) has gained an incredible 189% from its March low, while surprising profitability from Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE  ) has sustained a six-month three-bagger. Though not a pure play on coal, miner Teck Resources (NYSE: TCK  ) has been the darling of the resource rally with a 10-bagger turnaround. With all of these newfound gains in the sector, investors are rightfully keen to map out the road ahead.

I'm certainly glad we have the clear consensus of experts to turn to for guidance at times like these. (Watch out, demon analysts -- my sarcasm burns like holy water.) At this critical crossroads for coal investors, analysts from Citigroup and Macquarie Research issued opposing forecasts. Citigroup boosted the sector Tuesday with price target increases on several