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Walter Energy, Inc. Message Board

  • stockplusmoney stockplusmoney Jul 27, 2013 2:28 PM Flag


    However, Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT) produces primarily high-quality metallurgical coal that is used in steelmaking. Is the market throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

    Buried Treasure The company's numbers look terrible: negative earnings for 2013 with an analyst consensus of a loss of $1.43 a share; weak Chinese demand (although China is a large coal producer, they produce very little high-quality metallurgical coal); and coking coal prices down 18% to a recent price of around $140.

    To give the market even less confidence, Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT) recently postponed proposed refinancing of $1.6 billion in term loans, citing market conditions. Most investors wouldn't touch this idea with a 10-foot pole. But look beneath the surface.

    Caption: This overland conveyer transports coal from Walter Energy's mining operations in Alabama.

    Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT) is in a fairly simple business: It owns and produces a tangible asset. Conservative estimates put Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT)'s tangible book value at around $16 a share. Much of that is tied to the company's coal reserves (coal in the ground). That wasn't a big deal when shares were trading north of $100, but with shares staggering around $11.50, it's a different story -- that's 45% upside. The value is literally buried in the ground. But the story gets better.

    As far as the metallurgical segment -- Walter's bread and butter -- goes, demand has stabilized, albeit at lower levels. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coking coal domestic demand for 2013 should slip about 1.4% from last year, to 20.5 million tons. Not a disaster.

    Imports are a different story. Last year, import demand stood at 125.7 million tons. This year's forecast is pretty grim at 107.1 million tons, a 14.8% drop. However, the 2014 forecast for coking coal imports appears stable at 108.4 million tons. A modest increase of just 1.2% leaves some room for an upside surprise.

    As far as Walter Energy,Action to take -- Walter Energy is clearly undervalued, based on the company's improving internals and improving macro conditions, a 12-month price target of $16 would bring the company back to its book value. Shares currently trade around $11.50. This would represent a 40% return. The annual 50-cent-a-share dividend gives the stock a yield of about 4.4%. Don't count on it being that high forever, but this will help the company in the long run.

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