There must be a kaleidoscope in the middle of the coal industry, because I'm seeing things getting flipped around.
As you can see, those events were brought to you by the letter "M."
With the coal world watching, Walter Energy
If you're looking for the common denominator, it all comes down to steel, and the crystal-clear outlook for long-term growth in global steel demand. As my top coal pick, Peabody Energy
With the addition of Western Coal to its high-quality portfolio of metallurgical coal, Walter Energy fashions itself as the "leading, publicly traded 'pure-play' metallurgical coal producer in the world, with unique and strategic access to steel-producing markets in both the Atlantic and Pacific Basins."
Nonetheless, the scale of the combined asset portfolio will fall well shy of its competitors. With 1.3 billion tons of met coal reserves, Massey Energy's stash is more than three times the size of Walter's pro forma reserves following the acquisition of Western. Walter will be an attractive pure play, but still a medium-sized fish in an ocean of leviathans.
In an unexpected twist, Massey Energy also revealed this week that it may pursue some M&A of its own, even as it reiterated interest in fielding additional offers for a buyout. Alpha Natural Resources
The coal tag in the Motley Fool CAPS community lists 32 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!
Fool contributor Christopher Barker can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly in the CAPS community under the user name TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Diana Shipping and Peabody Energy. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Fool has a disclosure policy.