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Two Ways: Patriot Coal in the Black

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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The coal sector caught fire today, helped in part by strong first-quarter earnings from Patriot Coal (PCX). The company reported profits of $0.41 per share - $0.95 better than consensus expectations of a $0.54-per-share loss. Revenues jumped 86% year-over-year to $528.9 million, whereas analysts were expecting slightly better revenues of $539 million.

According to Briefing.com, on the conference call Patriot admitted the coal market was very depressed. It expects a slow recovery beginning at the end of 2009, led by electricity and the steel market. Executives also pointed to the Obama administration's so-called "right" balance of low-cost energy, which will ultimately require more coal. It expects to sell between 34 and 36 million tons in 2009.

Citigroup raised its rating of Patriot from "Sell" to "Hold" and revised its price target from $4 per share to $7. The stock closed the session up 22% to $7.68.

From the Bull Pen: Patriot Coal received a lot of attention today on the Buzz & Banter. Those bullish might wish to take a look at the below chart, courtesy of Professor Smita Sadana. Remember to set your sell stop.


Click to enlarge


From the Bear Cave: In the energy complex, once can look to Tesoro Corporation (TSO). Those playing the downside can consider a buy stop above $16.50.

Okay, Minyans. Have a great weekend!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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