Rightfully so, the Market Vectors-Coal ETF (NYSEArca: KOL) has taken its lumps. Over the past three years, KOL has plunged 57.8% while the Materials Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLB) is up 40.5% over the same period. The S&P 500 is up 58.2% over that time frame.
Entering Thursday, KOL was down 30.7% year-to-date and it appears relief for the downtrodden ETF is not coming anytime soon. At least not in the eyes of JPMorgan, which today slashed price targets on some of KOL’s holdings. [Dim Outlook for Coal ETFs]
“With no near term positive catalysts for coal, the equities remain under pressure. Peabody has announced that it has overcome requests from Wyoming over self bonding of reclamation liabilities but both Arch Coal and Alpha are still under review. Peabody, Arch and Alpha appear to have around 24 months before the risk of a “maturity wall” of expiring debt though equity values may imply some thoughts about proactive filing. We remain cautious on the US coal names,” according to JPMorgan note posted by Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.
The bank is bearish on coal stocks, including Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE: CLD), Alliance Resource Partners (NasdaqGS: ARLP) and Foresight Energy (NYSE: FELP).
Alliance Resource Partners, Peabody Energy, Cloud Peak and Alpha Natural Resources combine for about 7.2% of KOL’s weight. Foresight Energy is not one of the 32 stocks currently held by the ETF.