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Shares of Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (CLD - Free Report) scaled a new 52-week high of $4.85 in Thursday’s trading session, before closing slightly lower at $4.28.

Over the past 52 weeks, the company’s shares have ranged from a low of $1.08 on Jan 20, 2016 to a high of $4.85 on Sep 22, 2016. The average volume of shares traded over the last three months is approximately 1.4 million.

What’s Driving the Stock?

The company witnessed increased shipments in June on the back of warmer-than-usual weather conditions. In the third quarter, management anticipates shipments to continue witnessing the uptrend. Coal shipments are expected to average between 55–60 million tons for 2016.

CLOUD PEAK EGY Price and Consensus

CLOUD PEAK EGY Price and Consensus | CLOUD PEAK EGY Quote

Due to strong coal burn in the summer, utilities are expected to replenish their stockpiles to meet energy requirements, which would lead to higher shipments and robust sales.

Internationally, Cloud Peak Energy is seeing increased thermal coal import in China, while demand is growing in Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. In light of the growing number of utilities in Asia, coal is projected to witness solid demand ahead and oversupply of the fossil fuel will eventually be offset by this surge in demand.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Cloud Peak Energy currently sports a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy). Other favorably placed stocks in the coal space include Hallador Energy Company (HNRG - Free Report) , CNX Coal Resources LP (CNXC - Free Report) and Alliance Resource Partners LP (ARLP - Free Report) .

Hallador Energy has seen one upward estimate revision for 2016 over the past 60 days. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

CNX Coal, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, has seen three upward estimate revisions for 2016 over the past 60 days.

Alliance Resource also holds a Zacks Rank #2. The company has witnessed one upward estimate revision for the full year over the past 60 days.

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