Coal Industry’s 2012 Outlook Falls

U.S. Firms Face Double Threat of Cheap Natural Gas, Weak European Demand

This year’s outlook is grim for the U.S coal industry, which after two years of rising profits has begun closing mines, signaling a new wave of production cutbacks and, possibly, another round of industry consolidation.

The country’s biggest coal producers, which begin reporting fourth-quarter results on Tuesday with St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp., should provide insight into how bad this year could be. Most should meet Wall Street’s earnings expectations for the last quarter of 2011 on export gains over a year ago, while tempering investor expectations for 2012, say analysts.

via Coal Industry’s 2012 Outlook Falls – WSJ.com.

Categories: Electricity, Energy