NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 12/07/12 -- The coal mining industry has experienced major struggles in 2012 as warm temperatures and the emergence of natural gas as a cheaper alternative have caused demand for the commodity to plummet. The Market Vectors-Coal ETF (KOL) has fallen 25 percent year-to-date. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Coal Industry and provides equity research on Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR) and James River Coal Company (NASDAQ: JRCC).
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Gordon Howald, senior vice president of Doyle Trading Consultants LLC, at a recent conference stated that coal companies lost a total of 93 million tons in demand this year as total demand for coal in the U.S. declined 9.9 percent in 2012. Data from the Energy Department has shown that electricity demand for coal fell from 42 percent in 2011 to 37 percent in 2012, while electricity demand for natural gas rose from 25 percent to 31 percent over the same period. From now to 2020 a total of 34,700 megawatts of coal-fired generators will be shut down by utilities according to Howald.
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Alpha Natural Resources is a leading global coal company and the world's third largest metallurgical coal supplier. The company has production capacity of nearly 126 million tons of steam and metallurgical coal. Alpha reported coal revenues of $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2012, compared to $2.0 billion in the third quarter of 2011. Shares of the company have fallen 60 percent year-to-date.
James River Coal Company mines and sells metallurgical, bituminous, steam and industrial-grade coal through eight operating subsidiaries located throughout Eastern Kentucky, Southern West Virginia and Southern Indiana. Approximately 56 percent of the company's 2011 revenues were generated from coal sales to electric utility companies. Shares of James River Coal have fallen over 50 percent year-to-date.
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