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9 Coal Stocks With Upside

9. Natural Resource Partners (NRP - Get Report) is a limited partnership company owning and managing coal properties in three coal producing regions of the U.S., namely Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and Western U.S. The company does not operate any mines, but it has long-term lease agreements for coal reserves.

For the first quarter of 2011, the company reported 34% year-over-year increase in net revenues to $84.9 million. Net income grew to $44.4 million or 42 cents per share, compared to $16.9 million or 24 cents in first quarter 2010. During the quarter, NRP's coal production was up 11%, while royalty revenues zoomed 39% from the prior year's same quarter. Moreover, during the first quarter, the company completed three acquisitions in Deer Run property in Illinois and two reserve acquisitions in Tennessee and Kentucky for a combined $90.7 million.

Recently, NRP acquired a 21-year term overriding royalty interest for $16.5 million in Frac Sand reserves located on 711 acres near Tyler, Texas. The buy is an attractive pick as the reserve is strategically located near several shale gas basins in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas and is utilized by oil and gas service companies in the fracturing process during the completion of wells. The sand reserves, currently mined, processed, and sold will generate immediate income for NRP.

Of the eight analysts covering the stock, 50% recommend a buy while 38% rate a hold. A Bloomberg consensus forecasts an average 12-month price target of $35.20, nearly 17.3% higher than the stock's current price.

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