As any sports fan will tell you, you can't have the thrill of victory without the agony of defeat. Given the palpable sense of frustration and nervousness surrounding the equity markets just now, the achievement of one talented athlete is again the envy of fellow competitors.
After trimming a little excess from its waistline in preparation for a long and grueling contest, the world's largest coal miner -- Peabody Energy
Despite a solid surge after the release, Peabody's shares continue to exchange at a reasonable multiple of just around eight times those trailing 2008 earnings of $3.51 per share. Given the company's strategic position with a foot in China's door, a sizable footprint in Australia, and a massive presence within the Powder River Basin in the western U.S., Peabody Energy remains this Fool's top pick among coal miners to benefit from fiscally stimulated demand resumption in China and the United States.
Steel demand worldwide continues to melt within a furnace of global contraction, highlighted by the swift departure of POSCO's
Peabody, in contrast, opted for more modest production cuts. It reported that essentially all of the company's anticipated domestic production for 2009 has already been sold forward through purchase agreements. This is music to the ears of major Powder River Basin coal haulers such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe
The "Coal" tag within the Motley Fool CAPS community lists 21 coal companies. Find out what other investors are saying about the stocks you're watching, or share your Foolish thoughts with us. CAPS is free and fun! POSCO is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Christopher Barker wishes he could squeeze coal into diamonds. He can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He owns shares of Massey Energy and Peabody Energy. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy has a scrubber in its smokestack.