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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 8, 2014
11:38 EDTWLT, ANR, ACI, WLBCoal producers retreat after Morgan Stanley lowers price forecast
Shares of some coal producers are falling after Morgan Stanley reduced its price targets on several names in the sector. WHAT'S NEW: Morgan Stanley analyst Evan Kurtz warned that metallurgical coal prices may rebound more slowly than the firm had previously expected. The firm's commodity forecasters reduced their outlook for met coal prices to $133 from $160 per ton in 2015, Kurtz reported. Chinese imports have been weak so far this year, as exports to that country from Australia have risen, the analyst explained. However, production cuts should still help prices rise next year, Kurtz stated. Nonetheless, he cut his price target on Walter Energy (WLT) to $16 from $26, on Alpha Natural (ANR) to $4 from $5 and on Arch Coal (ACI) to $2 from $3. He kept an Overweight rating on Walter Energy, an Equal Weight rating on Alpha Natural and an Underweight rating on Arch Coal. COMPANY NEWS: In addition to the analyst opinion, two of the companies in the sector, Walter Energy and Westmoreland Coal (WLB), announced news this morning. Walter Energy announced that it has commenced a private offering of $320M aggregate principal amount of 9.5% senior secured notes due 2019. Walter also disclosed in a regulatory filing earlier that its preliminary metallurgical coal production for Q2, including both hard coking coal and low-volatility pulverized coal injection product, was 2.5M metric tons, and that its preliminary metallurgical coal sales for Q2 was 2.7M metric tons. Additionally, Walter noted that it incurred severance charges of approximately $7M in Q2 in connection with the idling of its mines in Canada. For its part, Westmoreland disclosed in a regulatory filing that the company currently anticipates reporting adjusted EBITDA in the range of $35M-$38M for the three months ended June 30. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On June 20, another research firm, Sterne Agee, recommended that risk-tolerant investors buy Alpha Natural. The firm predicted that the company would benefit from normalizing thermal and metallurgical coal prices. According to Sterne Agee, the market was underestimating several of Alpha Natural's positive catalysts. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Walter Energy sank 5.4% to $5.82, Alpha Natural gave back 7.2% to $3.37, Arch Coal retreated 5.2% to $3.22, and Westmoreland sank 5% to $34.97.
News For WLT;ANR;ACI;WLB From The Last 14 Days
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October 30, 2014
08:19 EDTANRAlpha Natural raises 2014 shipment guidance for Eastern coals, maintains PRB
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08:12 EDTANRAlpha Natural says may consider sale of some or all Rice Energy shares
As of the end of the third quarter of 2014, Alpha Natural (ANR) had total liquidity of approximately $2.3B, consisting of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of more than $1.3B, which includes approximately 6.4M shares of Rice Energy (RICE) valued at approximately $170M, and more than $0.9B available under the Company's secured credit and accounts receivable securitization facilities. Alpha said, "Rice Energy shares held by Alpha are subject to customary lock-up provisions which expire on November 11, after which we may consider a potential sale of some or all of these shares." Total long-term debt, net of debt discounts, and including the current portion of long-term debt as of September 30, was approximately $3.9B, including approximately $154M of senior convertible notes maturing in 2015.
08:11 EDTANRAlpha Natural continuing to assess Central Appalachian thermal production
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08:09 EDTANRAlpha Natural reports Q3 adjusted EPS (53c), consensus (70c)
Reports Q3 revenue $1.05B, consensus $998.65M. "While coal markets remained extremely challenging in the third quarter, we continue to be proactive by thoughtfully rationalizing our production base, reducing costs and maximizing efficiency. Our continuing cost reduction efforts in the East and other corporate actions are yielding strong results, including multi-year lows in Eastern adjusted cost of coal sales at $61.69 per ton in the third quarter, allowing us to reduce our Eastern cost of coal sales guidance for 2014 by $2.00 to a midpoint of $63.00 per ton. Although costs in the PRB were lower in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, they once again came in above our expectations, primarily due to rail underperformance, which continues to hinder shipment volumes," said Kevin Crutchfield, chairman and CEO.
07:42 EDTWLTWalter Energy sees FY14 met coal production 9.5 MMTs, lowers capex view
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07:40 EDTWLTWalter Energy reports Q3 met coal sales volumes 2.3 MMTs
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07:39 EDTWLTWalter Energy reports Q3 adjusted EPS ($1.58), consensus ($1.63)
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October 28, 2014
10:45 EDTACI, WLT, ANRCONSOL rises after acknowledging long-term thermal coal MLP opportunity
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07:49 EDTACIArch Coal maintains targeted sales volume in 2014
For 2014, Arch is maintaining its targeted sales volume range, which reflects the expectation for further improvement in rail service in the Powder River Basin during the fourth quarter. The company also recognizes the potential for some contracted tons in the Powder River Basin to carry over into 2015. Arch has again reduced its 2014 cost guidance range for the Bituminous Thermal segment due to a strong operating performance achieved year-to-date. The company also further reduced its corporate administrative budget, and now projects expenses of between $117 million and $121 million for 2014, representing a $7 million reduction since the start of the year. Additionally, Arch is reducing its capital expenditures for 2014, and now expects to spend between $160 million and $170 million for sustaining capital programs, inclusive of land and reserve additions.
07:49 EDTACIArch Coal believes global coal markets are in early stages of rebalancing
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07:48 EDTACIArch Coal reports total incident rate for nine months in 2014 was 15% better YoY
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07:47 EDTACIArch Coal sees western thermal operations to benefit from improving rali service
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07:46 EDTACIArch Coal reports Q3 adjusted EPS (45c), consensus (41c)
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October 23, 2014
15:15 EDTWLBWestmoreland update on 2015 outlook reassuring, says Brean Capital
Brean Capital believes Westmoreland fundamental drivers remain intact and that the stock's current valuation "defies reason." The firm views the 2015 outlook update that the company gave along with its Q3 results as "reassuring" and it reiterates its Buy rating and $60 price target on the stock, which is down about 3.5% to $32.84 in afternoon trading.
10:14 EDTWLBWestmoreland Q3 results include $23.7M charge for derivative losses
Westmoreland Coal's Q3 net loss of $49.3M included charges of $23.7M of unrealized, non-cash derivative based losses and $3.3M of restructuring charges. The company said it is focused on closing its recently announced Oxford transaction and the associated refinancing of Westmoreland's debt, both of which it plans on accomplishing during Q4.
10:11 EDTWLBWestmoreland reports Q3 EPS ($2.95), consensus ($1.14)
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October 17, 2014
16:17 EDTWLBOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:52 EDTWLBOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply higher at midday, as the averages bounce back following steep declines in several recent sessions. Better than expected earnings from General Electric (GE) and Morgan Stanley (MS), a rebound in European stock markets and a stronger than expected reading on U.S. consumer confidence may all be contributing to the brightened mood evidenced by today's trading. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., housing starts rebounded 6.3% to a 1.017M pace in September, beating expectations for a monthly increase of 4.6%. Building permits increased 1.5% to a 1.018M rate, which was below the expected 2.3% rise. The first release on the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for October came in at 86.4, versus expectations for a decline to 84.0 from the prior 84.6 reading. COMPANY NEWS: General Electric shares rose over 3% after the company reported better than expected third quarter profit and nearly in-line revenues. Morgan Stanley, whose quarterly results also topped Street expectations, advanced 2.5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Westmoreland Coal (WLB), which gained 23% after it stuck a deal to acquire Oxford GP, the general partner of Oxford Resource Partners (OXF), and contribute certain royalty bearing coal reserves to Oxford in return for Oxford common units. Afterward, Brean Capital raised its price target on Westmoreland to $60, noting the announcement represents an entry into the MLP space. Also higher were shares of Textron (TXT), which advanced 11% after the aircraft and defense company reported better than expected third quarter earnings per share and raised its profit outlook for fiscal 2014. Among the noteworthy losers was Urban Outfitters (URBN), which dropped 13% and was downgraded by at least three Street research firms after the owner of Anthropologie and its namesake clothing stores warned that its Q3 earnings may be negatively impacted by continued weakness in its comparable retail sales. Also lower was Myriad Genetics (MYGN), which fell 7% after guiding to lower than expected Q1 adjusted earnings, citing a higher than expected increase in costs to perform its myRisk Hereditary Cancer test following the test's national launch. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 295.34, or 1.83%, to 16,412.58, the Nasdaq was up 62.43, or 1.48%, to 4,279.82, and the S&P 500 was up 29.48, or 1.58%, to 1,892.24.
08:01 EDTWLBWestmoreland price target raised to $60 from $52 at Brean Capital
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October 16, 2014
16:38 EDTWLBWestmoreland to acquire Oxford Resource Partners' general partner
Westmoreland Coal (WLB,) will acquire Oxford GP, the general partner of Oxford Resource Partners (OXF), and contribute certain royalty bearing coal reserves to Oxford in return for Oxford common units. The cash purchase price for these interests is $30.0M plus an additional $3.5M if a specified coal acquisition is consummated within one year of the date of the purchase agreement. It is believed that Oxford will be able to resume quarterly distributions at 20c per common unit post-reverse split and has secured a commitment to refinance its existing credit facilities on better terms. Following these transactions, Oxford will continue to operate as a stand-alone, publicly-traded master limited partnership and Westmoreland will own 77% of the fully-diluted limited partner interests in Oxford. It is anticipated that the transactions will be completed during Q4. In connection with the transactions, there will be a one-time special distribution to the common unitholders.
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