Coal stocks, Christy notes, "provide a little more diversity and it's kind of a different investment vehicle vs. the typical energy company. When investors think of energy I think they think of the Exxon Mobils ( XOM) of the world or the Chevrons ( CVX) of the world, which are leveraged to oil. Coal stocks tend to give investors exposure to electricity production."
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Peabody Energy ( BTU ), Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR ), James River Coal ( JRCC ) and Arch Coal ( ACI ) have consensus strong buy or outperform recommendations from industry analysts -- and they remain the favorite coal stocks of Mathew Christy, coal industry equity analyst at Standard & Poor's.
James River Coal