For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 16, 2010 – announces the latest Industry Outlook. Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the Coal Industry, including Peabody Energy (BTU), Patriot Coal Corporation (PCX), Walter Energy Inc. (WLT) and Arch Coal Inc. (ACI).

A synopsis of today’s Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at

Coal Industry Outlook & Review

The larger coal players with strong balance sheets will be able to capitalize on the current market environment in the form of acquisitions. In particular, we like companies with exposure to the international coal markets. We also like companies with leverage to metallurgical coal markets. Companies like Peabody Energy (BTU), Patriot Coal Corporation (PCX), Walter Energy Inc. (WLT) and Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) look attractive currently.

Peabody is the largest pure-play coal producer, with significant leverage to the Australian export market. Due to the high quality of coal produced and its proximity to Asia (emerging markets), Australian seaborne coal trades at a premium to all other coals. Peabody would benefit with the rebound of China and other Asian emerging markets. Furthermore, Peabody has significant leverage to the improving prices for seaborne metallurgical and thermal coal.

Arch Coal has a significant amount of reserves and is a top-three producer in the Powder River Basin (PRB). In our opinion, PRB coal will be in great demand over the coming years. Going forward, the significant coal-fired power plant build-out will increase annual thermal coal demand by more than 43 MM tons, most of which will be fueled by PRB coal.

Tampa, Florida-based Walter Energy has high quality metallurgical reserves, which are advantageously located. It is one of the largest producers of premium metallurgical coal. The company has the ability to expand its production by roughly 50% at its Mine No. 7 East Expansion longwall — taking production capacity up to 9.5 million tons in 2012.

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