When investors see a rise of 40% or more in a stock, they start to wonder what is happening. When they see a rise by that much in a coal company’s stock price, let’s just say that they might wonder if the environment is taking a serious turn for the better for coal.
Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI) shares were up 34% at $2.14 in early afternoon trading on Wednesday. Amazingly, this is not the first big move this week.
Wednesday’s gain is tied to a Bloomberg report from Tuesday evening (updated Wednesday) indicating that Arch Coal is now looking to reach a compromise with its lenders that are opposing a debt swap deal. In short, it is trying to avoid a bankruptcy filing.
A driver earlier in the week came on the heels of Arch Coal getting a George Soros inspired pop. Arch Coal announced on Monday an extension of private debt exchange offers. SEC filings showed his quarterly filings and he owned a stake in Arch Coal and in and Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU).
Peabody Energy shares popped on Monday as well, but its stock was up 15% at $1.28 in mid-Wednesday trading. That is up from a 52-week low of $0.99 but is still down over 90% from its 52-week high of $16.71.
The Arch Coal gain of 35% or so to $2.14 is up over 100% from its 52-week low of $1.00. Still, it is also down more than 90% from its $33.00 52-week high.
It has not been that long ago, even days, that even more industry-wide bankruptcy fears have been present in coal stocks. Maybe this changes things, or maybe it just pushes the risks out further. Either way, it seems as though the issues around coal have a long way to go before the endgame is set in stone.
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