SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

April 29, 2011 08:16 ET

Coal Producers Prepare for Highly Lucrative Summer

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Patriot Coal Corp. and International Coal

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 29, 2011) - US coal producers have been on the upswing this earnings season, as most companies have predicted that 2011 will be a highly lucrative year. Coal prices have seen sharp gains since December in response to floods in Queensland, Australia. In addition, Asia's growing demand for metallurgical coal has already begun to boost top lines throughout the industry. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Coal Industry and provides research reports on Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE: PCX) and International Coal Group, Inc. (NYSE: ICO). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-04-PCX

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-04-ICO

US coal companies are seeing a surge in demand following last year's devastating floods in Queensland, Australia. Due to the flooding, the US Energy Department believes shipments from the US are poised to rise almost nine percent this year to about 86.5 million tons.

RBS Morgans analyst Tom Sartor points out that coal production from Queensland -- which supplies a major proportion of the world's coking coal for steelmaking -- was recovering more slowly than expected from the flood disruptions.

The Bedford Report releases regular market updates on the Coal Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at www.bedfordreport.com and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

Earlier this month Patriot Coal Corporation said it would ship 3 million tons of metallurgical coal this year and in 2012 -- up from a previous guidance of 2 million tons -- and that it expects to sell that coal at $173 per ton, up significantly from a prior estimate of $135 per ton. In the first quarter Patriot Coal said its revenue surge 23 percent from last year to $577 million due to higher average selling prices.

International Coal Group recently posted a net first quarter profit of $22 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $8.9 million, or 5 cents a share, last year. "Metallurgical coal demand improved throughout the quarter, with prices reaching near-record levels," Chief Executive Ben Hatfield said in a statement.

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