SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

February 09, 2012 08:20 ET

Patriot Coal and Alpha Natural Resources Prepare for Downturn in Demand

Five Star Equities Provides Equity Research on Patriot Coal & Alpha Natural Resources

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 9, 2012) - Shares of companies in the coal industry have lagged in the market in 2012. Several miners are expected to reduce production further this year as demand falls in the U.S. and Europe, Dahlman Rose analyst Daniel Scott explained in a recent research note to investors. Scott said the production cuts are "necessary given current conditions." Five Star Equities examines investing opportunities in the coal industry and provides equity research on Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE: PCX) and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.fivestarequities.com/PCX
www.fivestarequities.com/ANR

Analysts such as Dahlman's Daniel Scott argue that Europe will need less U.S. coal as its economy struggles through a deep financial crisis. Meanwhile, with natural gas prices near ten year lows, North American Utilities companies are expected to rely more on abundant natural gas.

Citigroup analyst Anthony Yuen argues that natural gas prices could resume falling, spurring even more utilities to switch from coal to gas for power generation. Yuen said several factors could keep pushing gas prices down, including strong production and mild winter weather.

Five Star Equities 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.fivestarequities.com and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

Last week, Alpha Natural Resources reported that production will be reduced at some of its operations in central Appalachia due to decreased demand. When completed, the company says the adjustments are expected to reduce annual coal production by approximately 4 million tons.

Patriot Coal cut its 2012 production estimate to between 27 million and 29 million tons -- down from 31 million tons in 2011. The company said the production cuts were "in response to weaker market demand."

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