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Can 'Big Coal' Dig Out of its Hole?

Management has provided an improvement of year-over-year revenue. Revenue reported was $3.19 billion last fiscal year compared to $2.58 billion in the previous year. The bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $158.85 million last fiscal year compared to $42.16 million in the previous year.

Currently, Arch Coal is trading near the 52-week lows and the price represents the performance.

The last date Arch Coal released earnings was May 1 and the closing price before earnings was $9.22. With a recent price of $6.05, shares have lost 34% in the last quarter.

Arch Coal missed earnings three in the last four quarters; the average miss was 0.09 cents, and the one surprise beat was for 4 cents (12.5%) per share.

BTU Chart BTU data by YCharts

Peabody Energy

Background: Peabody Energy trades an average of 10.3 million shares per day with a market cap of $6.1 billion.

52-week high: $61.37, 52-week Low: $21.12, book value: $21.03, price to book: 1.05, float short: 2.89%

Investors are expecting Peabody to report weak second quarter earnings before the market opens on July 24, 2012. The consensus estimate is currently 53 cents a share, a decline of 58 cents (52.3%) from $1.11 during the same period last year.

Analysts are in love with this company. Peabody is sporting 19 "buy" or "strong buy" from a total of 20 analysts covering the company, no "holds" and only one recommends selling. The average analyst target price for Peabody is $42.67.

Shareholders are not nearly as bullish as analysts. Shares have fallen 61.2% in the last year, and in the last month the stock has fallen -5.54%.

The last date Peabody released earnings was April 19, and the closing price before earnings was $30.46. Based on a recent price, shares have fallen about 25% in the last quarter.

The trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratio is 5.6, the mean fiscal year estimate price-to-earnings ratio is 8.76, based on earnings of $2.57 per share this year. Investors are receiving 34 cents in dividends for a yield of 1.51%. BTU Revenue Chart BTU Revenue data by YCharts
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