For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 28, 2017 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., (NASDAQ: AHGP Free Report ), Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ARCH Free Report ), Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: ARLP Free Report ) and CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Are Coal Stocks the Big Winners from Climate Rule Repeal?

Keeping his pre-election campaign promise, President Trump has signed the Energy Independence Executive Order. The primary objective of this order is to repeal the Clean Power Plan and other regulations that threaten the operation of coal mines and energy sector workers.

In a bid to extend further support toward the usage of fossil fuel (primarily coal), Trump might pull out from the Paris Climate deal as well. Notably, the U.S. was one among the 194 countries that had agreed to lower emission in April last year.

Trump’s view of climate change being “a Chinese hoax” aimed to make U.S. manufacturing “non-competitive” will definitely keep fossil fuel based electricity generation afloat longer than expected. Given his stance, we can expect the new policies to help the coal industry survive and prosper from its current levels.

Benefits to Coal Industry

It is a well-documented fact that the U.S. coal industry has been facing challenges from stringent environmental regulations for the last few years. The steps taken by the President will no doubt boost the prospects of the coal industry.

Apart from stringent regulations, the abundance of cheap natural gas also played a role in pushing away coal as a favored choice of fuel in utilities. As per the National Mining Association, the Clean Power Plan would have lowered U.S. coal production by 242 million tons.

However, the coal industry received a boost post the election of Trump and has gained 10.9% in the last six months, higher than the S&P 500’s gain of 7.6%.

The recent U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) release echoes similar positive views. EIA expects growth in coal-fired electricity generation to contribute to a 4% increase in coal production in 2017. In addition coal prices are expected to increase in 2017 and 2018 to $2.17/MMBtu and $2.21/MMBtu, respectively, from $2.11/MMBtu in 2016.

The report also projects that with the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, nearly 100 GW of coal fired power generation will be taken out of the system in the 2016 to 2040 time period, while on the other hand, without the plan, only 60 GW coal fired units will be taken out in the same time period. It is clearly evident that coal producers will benefit for a longer period of time in the absence of the plan.

Coal Stocks Poised to Gain

The coal industry friendly policies and the probability of repealing the federal tax credit on solar and wind power generation could further boost the prospects of coal operators.

Let’s focus on some coal miners, which are well poised to gain from the new policies.

Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., (NASDAQ: AHGP Free Report ), along with its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the U.S. It sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

The partnership reported positive earnings surprises in three out of the last four quarters with an average positive of 5.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 moved up 37.6% to $2.78 in last 60 days.

Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ARCH Free Report ), another Zacks Rank #1 stock, produces and sells thermal and metallurgical coal from surface and underground mines.

The company reported a whopping positive earnings surprise of 5,400% in the last quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 moved up 43.2% to $8.32 in the last 60 days.

Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: ARLP Free Report ) produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the U.S. It carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The partnership reported positive earnings surprises in three out of the last four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 25.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 moved up 39.4% to $2.69 in last 60 days.

CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX Free Report ), a multi-fuel energy producer and energy services provider, caters to U.S. and international power producers. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

The company reported positive earnings surprises in two out of the last four quarters with an average positive surprise of 15.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 moved up 58.1% to 49 cents in the last 60 days.

More Stock News: 8 Companies Verge on Apple-Like Run

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (AHGP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (ARLP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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