A Bad Week For Coal Mining Industry, Even Worse for Peabody Energy

A Bad Week For Coal Mining Industry, Even Worse for Peabody Energy
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It’s been a really bad week for major U.S. coal companies as we head into the July 4th holiday weekend. 

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) closed today at $1.87 a share, down from a high of $84 per share in mid-2008. The company’s chief financial officer Michael C. Crews resigned abruptly on June 28 amidst the freefall.

Another major U.S. coal company, Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) hit a new all-time low yesterday at just 27 cents per share, and sank as low as 24 cents that morning.

Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) also hit its all-time low of 33 cents per share as well, down from its all-time high of $73.42 in 2008.

All three companies’ stock values are down roughly 80% from the beginning of 2015.


2015 year-to-date stock performance on the NYSE for Peabody (BTU), Arch (ACI) and Alpha (ANR). Source: Google Finance.

Arch has received a delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange for falling below $1 per share, and has only a few months to regain its footing or lose its spot on the NYSE.  Alpha received its own delisting notice a month prior.

Given the global nature of the coal industry and the generally complicated world of commodity trading, there are a myriad of influences at play here. But one cannot ignore the fact that these historic lows are coming at a time of historic commitments to renewable energy and carbon reductions by major coal-consuming and producing countries like the United States and China. 

According to energy analysts at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the Stowe Global Coal Index has lost 71% of its value since 2010:

stowe global coal index

IEEFA‘s director of finance, Tom Sanzillo, recently told reporters that, “the coal industry is arguably the poorest-performing sector in today’s global economy and is in a state of structural decline. It is a shrinking industry with little upside potential.” 

That’s bad news for coal investors, but frankly it’s a welcome development for anyone concerned about the carbon pollution the coal industry is responsible for. 

Image credit: Rich on Flickr

A Bad Week For Coal Mining Industry, Even Worse for Peabody Energy

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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