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4 Biggest Earnings Releases Next Week

ANR Chart ANR data by YCharts

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR - Get Report)

Background: Alpha Natural Resources, together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing, processing and selling steam and metallurgical coal in the U.S. The company has mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wyoming. Alpha Natural trades an average of 23.6 million shares per day with a marketcap of $2 billion.

52-Week Range: $5.28 to $29.29

Book Value: $23.03

Price to Book: 0.4

Alpha Natural is forecast to report a loss during the third-quarter before the market opens on November 2.

The consensus estimate is currently looking for a loss of 45 cents a share, falling 80 cents from a profit of 35 cents per share during the same period last year. Analysts' estimates range from a low of losing 70 cents per share, up to the highest estimate of (only) losing 28 cents per share.

TheStreet's Dick Arms writes about Alpha Natural Resources in Everywhere a Sign .

Analyst opinion is mixed. Most of the analysts surveyed don't believe a buy or a sell should be made at this point. Currently, Alpha Natural has 13 buy recommendations out of 28 analysts covering the company, 13 holds, and two recommend selling. The stock dropped 62% (ouch) in the last year and the average analyst target price for Alpha Natural is $10.33.

This summer, when Alpha Natural traded under $7.50 a share I was very bullish due to the oversold nature of the chart. At $9 a share, I'm not as bullish, but for long term buy-and-hold investors, Alpha continues being attractive as a value buy.

Options are actively traded, and are excellent tools to hedge (and profit) during earnings season. Selling covered calls on some shares owned, or selling cash-covered puts, will lower your risk while juicing returns.

Not everyone agrees with me in the outlook for Alpha. Short interest with this stock is very high. More than one in five shares is short. Shorts are the smart money, but when they pile on this hard it can backfire too. The proportion of the float short is 26.40%.

ANR Revenue Quarterly Chart ANR Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

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