Say you want to invest in the coal sector, but you want a little more volatility and exposure to higher prices? Alpha Natural Resources
Unfortunately, it's not really possible to talk about second-quarter results in great detail. Because of some uncertainty on the treatment of an accounting idea, the company has delayed presentation of full results. That doesn't mean that we are completely without information, though.
Based on the midpoint of management's range, revenue rose approximately 18% this quarter, as overall production increased 24% and sales volume rose 12%. Hurting results somewhat would have been the spread in the coal sales -- steam coal volumes were up 25% this quarter, but metallurgical volumes were down 8%.
With the uncertainty of the aforementioned accounting item (which pertains to the recognition of purchases and sales of coal) and the impact of stock option expense, there wasn't a particularly clean earnings number, but the guidance provided suggested a modest shortfall, as did the company's guidance toward the lower end of its earnings target range for the year.
As I said, Alpha is a smaller company -- the second smallest in reserves of the eight companies I routinely follow, and about one-fifteenth the size of Peabody
In some respects, Alpha is a play on some direct subthemes within coal. As James River
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).