U.S. coal companies, analysts expect strong financial headwinds to continue through 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):“Flat is the new up,” one analyst said as coal companies reported another brutal quarter for investors in the space while domestic markets continued on a path of secular decline and export markets took a turn for the worse.For the last five years, the S&P 500 has consistently outperformed the SNL Coal Index, and the gap continues to widen through 2019. While coal equities struggled to win the favor of investors even when robust export markets offered coal companies an outlet to sell their fuel, share prices are plummeting as those opportunities diminish.“Export markets are challenging right now, and there is a widespread fear amongst investors that all U.S. coal producers will have to retreat significantly from the export markets, resulting in significant EBITDA declines,” Consol Energy Inc. President and CEO Jimmy Brock said on a Nov. 5 earnings call. Brock added that Consol was bracing for continued weak pricing through 2020, but remained optimistic about a potential recovery.Mark Levin, an analyst with Seaport Global Securities LLC, praised Consol’s assets and the product it sells in a Nov. 5 note. Levin said that, unlike many of its peers, the company managed to avoid revising its guidance. Since “flat is the new up,” Levin chalked up the company’s performance, in line with expectations, to the “victory column.”Share prices declined at major U.S. coal companies despite aggressive share buyback programs rolled out by most major U.S. coal producers in recent years. Staring down a diminishing domestic market, weaker export markets and the political uncertainty of a 2020 election, Levin recently encouraged the coal industry to “hoard cash.”Levin said management teams talking on third-quarter earnings calls sound like they are bracing for recent trends — near-record-low domestic consumption, met coal prices flirting with three-year lows, and overall weak coal export volumes — to continue into 2020. If a company has an unsustainable quarterly distribution or a non-essential project, it is time to cut it, he added.More ($): Already flailing through 2019, coal equities dove even lower in third quarter U.S. coal companies, analysts expect strong financial headwinds to continue through 2020last_img read more

NBA Draft: Los Angeles Lakers select Brandon Ingram with No. 2 pick

first_imgWith the Lakers 30th out of 30 NBA teams in 3-point percentage last season (31.7), Ingram should boost those numbers after shooting 41 percent from behind the perimeter with the Blue Devils. With the Lakers finishing 27th in total defense last season (106.9 points per allowed), Ingram’s history in defending the opposing team’s top scorer could improve those rankings, too.The Lakers also became impressed with Ingram’s respectful demeanor. They interviewed him at the pre-draft combine in Chicago in May and also dined with him the night before his pre-draft workout about two weeks ago at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.Ingram has fielded plenty of questions about his weight considering few expect his listed 6’9”, 190-pound frame to absorb the daily physical poundings in the NBA. Yet, Ingram has continuously increased weight in both fat and muscle through extensive weight-training and highly caloric diets. Those close to Ingram believe he will eventually overcome that because of his other positive attributes.The Lakers also have the 32nd pick on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. In a move that carried less drama than a bland Hollywood script, the Lakers selected a player in the NBA draft on Thursday that many expected would wear a purple and gold uniform.The Lakers drafted Duke forward Brandon Ingram with their No. 2 pick, providing an immediate replacement at the small forward spot that Kobe Bryant left vacant following a storied 20-year NBA career. The move may have lacked any element of surprise, but draft selection could still eventually lead to a blockbuster.It’s far too early, of course, to project the 18-year-old Ingram’s future after he won the ACC’s freshman of the year award during his lone season at Duke. But Ingram should complement Lakers’ promising young core to remove the stench from finishing last season with the worst record in franchise history. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more