NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Coal and natural gas company Consol Energy ( CNX) was the worst performer in the S&P 500 intraday Tuesday. The S&P 500 was down 18.42 points, or 1.35%, to 1,345.91.
Shares of Consol Energy fell 3.72% midday Tuesday to $32.11. The company announced Tuesday that it is going to temporarily idle the Viriginia Buchanan longwall mining unit and cut its operation schedule down to five days a week. The length of time for the idling wasn't known; the reduction in production should be about 295,000 tons a month. Consol Energy is idling the unit because of reduced international demand for metallurgical coal and higher inventories. Shares of Consol Energy hit a 52-week low Tuesday of $29.85. The stock's 52-week high of $56.32 was set on March 18. Consol Energy has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 10.12 times; the average for coal companies is 10.96. For comparison, Peabody Energy ( BTU) has a lower forward P/E of 6.69; Alpha Natural Resources' ( ANR) forward P/E is 20.34. Twenty-seven of the 31 analysts who cover Consol Energy rated it buy; four analysts gave the stock a hold rating. TheStreet Ratings gives Consol a B- grade with a buy rating and $40.73 price target. The stock has fallen 12.45% year to date. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.