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Market Alert - Coal Producing Company Reaches Major Milestone For Metallurgical Coal Production Operations In Colombia

Walter Energy, Inc. ( NYSE: WLT) is the world's leading, publicly traded "pure-play" metallurgical coal producer for global industry with strategic access to high-growth steel markets in Asia, South America and Europe. The Company also produces thermal coal, anthracite, metallurgical coke and coal bed methane gas. Walter Energy is a pure metallurgic coal play, and recent rumors suggest that the company may be an acquisition target of BHP Billiton (BHP). BHP, which likely has a more significant interest in a metallurgic play than a thermal play, will certainly benefit from the movement in China.  WLT closed up 0.78% on Tuesday (12/18/12) at $36.22 on 2.16Million shares traded.

Peabody Energy Corp. ( NYSE:BTU) recently provided comments on factors affecting first quarter and selected full year 2013 targets, following initial first quarter seaborne metallurgical coal pricing settlements. Compared with average quarterly year-to-date 2012 levels, first quarter 2013 results are expected to be impacted by:  An increase in Australian unit costs of approximately 10 percent. Several factors will affect first quarter targets, including the timing of additional overburden removal at the Eaglefield and Wilpinjong mines that impacts both production and costs; startup costs associated with the transition to owner-operator status at the Wilpinjong and Millennium mines; and a larger proportion of higher-cost metallurgical coal.  The company expects the first quarter to mark trough earnings, with results expected to increase as the year proceeds based on improving Australian production and margins.  BTU closed up 2.78% on Tuesday (12/18/12) at $27.37 on 5.45Million shares traded.

CONSOL Energy Inc. ( NYSE:CNX) is a Pittsburgh-based producer of coal and natural gas. It has 12 bituminous coal mining complexes in four states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.5 billion tons. The company's premium Appalachian coals are sold worldwide to electricity generators and steelmakers.  The Board of Directors for CNX recently accelerated the declaration and payment of the regular quarterly dividend. The Board declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share, payable on December 28, 2012, to shareholders of record on December 21, 2012.  

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