Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Goldman upgrades US coal sector to attractive. And: Goldman's Coal Call Stokes Activity (BTU; FCL; MEE)

First up, Reuters:
Goldman Sachs upgraded its Americas coal coverage view to "attractive" from "neutral," and said it expects demand to rise and prices to stabilise, sending coal stocks soaring Monday morning.

Shares of coal miner Massey Energy (MEE.N) were up as much as 20 percent, while those of Foundation Coal Holdings Inc (FCL.N), the fourth largest coal producer in the United States, were up 16 percent. The Dow Jones Coal Index .DJUSCL was up more than 11 percent.

Expectations for China's economic growth will rise in the coming months, which could improve global demand for metallurgical coal, Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Singer wrote in a note to clients.

Singer said while he did not expect a meaningful direct impact of increased China commodity demand on US coal demand in 2009, this could potentially improve global metallurgical coal supply/demand balances, reducing downside pricing risk for 2010.

The analyst also said he expects less coal-to-gas substitution during the summer months and that he sees natural gas prices rising in the next six months which should improve coal prices....MORE

From the Wall Street Journal:

Options traders were quick to take positions in coal companies after Goldman Sachs analysts said economic growth in China could light a fire under the sector's stocks.

Among the companies that saw action were Peabody Energy, James River Coal and Massey Energy. Investors pursued mostly bullish options in these names, hoping the stocks could build off recent gains.

Fueling much of the day's trading was a decision by Goldman Sachs to upgrade its outlook on the coal sector to "attractive" from "neutral." The bank cited the possibility of economic growth in China, leading to an increase in global demand for coal, as well as attractive multiples on the companies' stocks....MORE