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Fitch Predicts Stronger Future for Coal
Thursday September 6, 5:15 pm ET
Fitch Ratings Forecasts Improvement in Fundamentals for Coal Sector

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fundamentals for the U.S. coal industry should improve in the near-term as increases in exports and electricity generation come together with lower inventory levels, Fitch Ratings said in a report Thursday.

The ratings service predicts that "robust demand" for the commodity will continue throughout 2007, especially from power generators.

Also, Fitch said prices will be pushed up as supply tightens because of traffic bottlenecks and outages, less availability of labor and equipment, environmental concerns and "a challenging regulatory environment."

Earnings growth across the sector, however, "will be constrained by a number of factors," Fitch said, including higher prices for fuel, explosives and steel, labor costs, and the tightened supply of machinery parts.


http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070906/coal_sector_fitch.html?.v=1


Anyone on board BTU besides me?

Denny Schlesinger
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I too am on board BTU. Growing up in Southern Illinois, I have seen the coal mines prosper, nearly disappear, and now begin to re-emerge. I think this is a long-term story.

HG
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As long as oil stays high -- it is or was over $80 a barrel -- and until nuclear power generation takes over, coal has a bright future. I have two small bets on coal, Peabody Energy (BTU) for the coal itself and Rentech (RTK) for the coal to liquid (CTL) fuel technology. They are partnering on one or more projects.

Denny Schlesinger
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Anyone on board BTU besides me?

I have a small position, bought in a few months ago, don't exactly
remember when ( I'm trying to not look at my stocks on a regular
basis ) .
I bought in because I don't think the world can produce enough
energy without using coal. I also think ( hope ) that plug-in
hybrid cars will be a major contributor to our fuel usage, and I
think coal plants will be supplying a lot of that juice. There are
definitely environmental issues with coal, so there could be a lot of
political pressure to limit it's use. But I think in the not so
distant future that we will be happy to use any economical source of
energy.
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