Are you weary? Feeling small? I know I am, but thankfully I continue to see select sectors offering a well-built bridge for investors over these troubled financial waters.
I have continued to highlight precious metals and coal as two particular sectors with solid long-term fundamentals intact, despite some near-term disruptions and sharp declines in share prices for their constituent stocks. During recent months, miners of gold and silver have rallied convincingly, leaving shares of some promising coal miners to dig even deeper into value territory.
Crafty Roman architects utilized arches to build bridges that remain in use even today. After being thrown to the gladiators of a spooked equity marketplace, Arch Coal
Arch beat estimates with earnings of $62.3 million, a decline of 23% over the comparable 2007 period. Annual earnings more than doubled in 2008 to $354 million, and while nobody expects results as robust during the current year, the visible elements of a coal recovery on the long-term horizon place the 80% free-fall of Arch shares from their 52-week high into Foolish context. Following the lead of larger competitor Peabody Energy
To be sure, waning steel-related demand from producers like United States Steel
Although Arch's exposure to unpriced coal production is less favorable than that of CONSOL Energy