Will Arch Coal Finally Rebound This Quarter?http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/04/19/will-arch-coals-finally-rebound-this-quarter.aspx Dan Caplinger
April 19, 2013
Next Tuesday, Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed, knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.
Arch Coal has suffered along with the rest of the coal industry as low prices have made it extremely difficult for coal miners to remain profitable. But will rising prices elsewhere in the energy industry finally help the company rebound? Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Arch Coal over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.
Stats on Arch Coal
How will Arch Coal fare this quarter?
Arch Coal and its peers have all struggled due to low natural gas prices. With many former coal users in the U.S. having switched to natural gas for cost and environmental reasons, coal companies have seen big sales volume declines domestically. In particular, Arch and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), both of which have extensive operations in the Appalachian region, had to stop production at several mines in order to cut costs. Even with natural gas prices finally starting to rise somewhat, coal has a long way to go before it will return to its former popularity within the U.S. -- if ever.
Fortunately for Arch, natural gas isn't nearly as cheap internationally, and so the company has looked to international markets to sell its c