Even as this coal miner's shares dipped violently Tuesday following a dastardly 12th consecutive loss in the second quarter, the company's star remains in the beginning stages of a long-term ascent.
There can be no shadow of a doubt about it: Coal is locked securely onto a track that leads through a long-term secular bull market. Encouraged by reliable and widely corroborated projections for a decade of massive growth in global demand ahead, coal producers are taking whatever steps are necessary to position themselves for the ride.
Demand for both thermal and metallurgical coal is rising fast, but miners understand that of the two, met coal is clearly the tighter market. Accordingly, CONSOL Energy
For its part, Patriot has opted for the organic approach -- executing a "Met Build-Out" project that has already seen two new mines come online this year, with a third new mine soon to follow. In addition to elevated capital expenditures, the miner will see consolidated production costs rise with the proportion of met coal within the product mix. But I believe met-coal margins will expand at a sufficient clip to render the higher cost structure quite harmless, and therefore I view the market's intensely negative response to Patriot's second-quarter results as a clear buying opportunity for long-term investors. I was eager to reinitiate my "outperform" rating on Patriot's shares within my silverminer CAPS portfolio, and this double-digit drop strikes me as an ideal opportunity.