Insider Secrets

Insider Secrets

Learn how the PROs are making money from the oil and energy market.

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Energy / Coal

  • Is George Soros Betting on the Long-Term Future of Coal?

    Perhaps the greatest nightmare for investors in a commodity stock is that the commodity in question goes the way of coal. After more than a century of dominance in the U.S. and abroad, coal appears to have entered into a structural decline. The EIA and others see coal export volumes declining, domestic U.S. demand remaining questionable, and intense competition from natural gas continuing. A funny thing happened on the way to the graveyard for coal companies though – one of the industries greatest detractors, George Soros, appears to be stepping in as a supporter. Soros, whose $24 billion fortune is…

  • Coal Isn’t Dead Yet

    The news for the global coal industry has been painful of late. Coal prices have dramatically decreased nearly everywhere in the world amid considerable oversupply, inexpensive shale gas in the U.S., and various national-level environmental regulations. In recent years, China has been the boon for the coal world, but in 2014 the country’s consumption decreased 2.9 percent, although production notably still stood at a staggering 3.5 billion tonnes. There are many reasons why China’s coal utilization has grown so rapidly to unprecedented levels, up 50 percent to 3.7 billion tonnes since 2005. Coal defines “energy security” in China, making up…

  • Coal Mine Once Valued At $630 Million Sells For $1

     The following photos are from Australia's Isaac Plains coking-coal mine.Why is Isaac Plains relevant? Well, in 2011 at the height of the Australian mining boom, Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo thought it has spotted a bargain, and a SMH reports, it approached Tony Poli, the founder of mid-tier miner Aquila Resources with an offer: it would buy its 50% stake in Isaac Plains, at the time Aquila's only producing mine, for $430 million.Market participants thought Aquila's stake might fetch $300 million at best but Sumitomo was confident it would make a strong return, and offered almost 50% above fair value, especially since…

  • Battered Coal Industry Still Boasts A Few Good Opportunities

    For all the talk about oil, natural gas, and renewable energy, one energy commodity gets very little press; coal. Yet coal is still one of the major sources of power around the world, and in the fastest growing area of the world, it is the dominant source of energy. Fast-growing Asian economies like Vietnam, China, India, and Indonesia are all building new coal plants at a rapid clip. And while a lot of commentators have pointed out how problematic China’s slowdown is for commodity prices, including coal, very few investors seem to be paying attention to what certainly looks like…

  • China Doubles Down On Dirty Fuel

    China, the worlds’ most populous country, has consistently ranked among the top energy producers and consumers in the world. The Asian giant has relied heavily on coal as it contributes to almost 65 percent of the country’s massive energy consumption. Since coal is a major source of carbon emissions in China, the Chinese government is aiming to reduce its usage to 62 percent of primary energy consumption by the year 2020 in order to reduce its air pollution levels and greenhouse gas emissions. In a rather alarming revelation, a recent report from China’s Ministry of Environment Protection revealed that only…

  • Good News For Coal Exporters From The Unlikeliest Of Sources

    The world saw a new number one supplier rise in a key commodity market this week.And the identity will shock most investors.The commodity is coal. Specifically, high-grade anthracite -- used in a both steelmaking and as thermal coal for power generation.And the nation is North Korea. Which according to reports from Bloomberg this week has just become the world's top anthracite exporter.The title of top exporter was previously held by Vietnam. At least up until the beginning of this year--when export patterns changed dramatically.Related: Schlumberger Vs. Halliburton: Which Is The Better Buy Right Now?New data show that during January to May…

  • Bankruptcies Starting To Pile Up In Coal Industry

    The coal industry is in uncharted territory. After decades of strong financial numbers and dominance in the electric power sector, coal producers are starting to fall apart faster than anyone could have anticipated. SNL Financial has produced some jaw dropping data on the quickly deteriorating coal industry, with a horrific performance in the second quarter. The U.S. coal mining sector has exhibited an unprecedented wave of turmoil in just the last few weeks. Walter Energy, an Alabama coal miner, announced on July 15 that it is filing for bankruptcy. Senior lenders will see their debt turned into equity, and if…

  • MLPs Under Threat From The IRS

    One of the biggest changes for investors over the next few years is going to come from the IRS. And it’s a potential bombshell that is flying below the radar for most investors. That bombshell is a result of proposed changes to the Master Limited Partnership structure that the IRS is considering. Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) have surged in popularity over the last decade as more and more investors have begun to realize their tax advantages. While MLPs do have some complex tax rules, they also have the potential to generate significant tax savings. This might explain why the number…

  • Noose Tightening On Coal Industry

    The fortunes of U.S. coal companies continue to fade. The ongoing switch to natural gas and renewable energy continues to damage coal miners. Coal plants are shuttering amid weak demand, and the international market is not looking any better. Prices for metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel, are hovering around their lowest levels in more than a decade. Dipping below $100 per metric ton, coal prices are now 70 percent lower than they were four years ago. Coal stocks have taken a beating as a result. Peabody Energy Corporation, the world’s largest private sector coal company, has seen…

  • Peabody Energy (BTU): Time To Pick Up The Knife

    There is an old cliché often cited by traders that attempting to catch a falling knife is an extremely dangerous thing to do, but that doesn’t mean that picking one up off the ground isn’t occasionally worth the risk. The phrase “The U.S. coal industry is dead…” has been uttered so many times in the last six months that it has become conventional wisdom. Stocks in the industry have fallen in spectacular fashion, with those companies that have avoided bankruptcy so far losing over 90 percent of their value over the last five years or so. Peabody Energy (BTU) is…

Martin tiller