Patriot Coal Is Top Coal Miner Stock, Poll Says

Investors apparently think that the run for International Coal is over -- while Patriot Coal still has room to run, declaring it the coal miner stock most likely to outperform the sector in the coming quarter.
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(Coal stock story updated from Saturday, May 1, with April 3 Massey Energy news and stock-price movements. )
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In light of the bullish signs for the coal industry -- particularly in the met-coal markets -- Patriot Coal's (PCX) the mining stock TheStreet users think is poised to outperform the sector, according to a poll this week.

On Apr. 23, Patriot Coal reported that it had an adjusted 48 cents loss on a per-share basis, which was in line with the Wall Street consensus. Patriot Coal stock received 31.8% of polltakers' votes.

Readers gauged that the coal stock that is second-most likely to beat the sector is

Walter Energy


, which received 19.5% of the votes. On Apr. 28, Walter Energy reported earnings of 88 cents a share, a penny shy of the average Wall Street estimate.

Alpha Natural Resources


garnered 17.3% of the votes, while

Massey Energy


-- which has, of course, been dealing with the fallout from the tragic explosion at its Upper Big Branch Mine (UBB) last month -- followed with 14% of the votes. Massey reported earnings of 39 cents a share on April 21, beating the consensus estimate by 11 cents.

Massey Energy employees, mine union members and federal and state employees are being interviewed by the FBI, which has launched an investigation into possible bribery of authorities in the lead-up to the mining accident,



On April 30, Massey Energy issued a statement saying that it has "no knowledge of criminal wrongdoing."

"It is not uncommon that an accident of the size and scope of UBB would lead to a comprehensive investigation by relevant law enforcement agencies," the company said. "We are cooperating with all agencies that are investigating the tragedy at UBB. Massey does not and will not tolerate any improper or illegal conduct and will respond aggressively as circumstances warrant."

Massey Energy stock is down 0.9% at $36.32 about 20 minutes into Monday's regular trading session.

Readers thought that

Natural Resource Partners

(NRP) - Get Report


International Coal


were the stocks least likely to outperform the sector, receiving only 9% and 8.3% of the votes, respectively. International Coal reported earnings of 3 cents a share on Apr. 28, beating the average Wall Street estimate by 2 cents a share.

Year-to-date, Patriot Coal is up 27.4%, Walter Energy is up 7.3%, Massey Energy is down 12.8%, and International Coal is up 36.5%. Readers apparently think that the run for International Coal is over ... while Patriot still has room to run.

International Coal stock is at $5.25, down 0.4% and Patriot Coal stock is at $19.56, down 0.7%.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York


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