Thursday, July 14, 2011

Focus Stocks: MCP, COP, CNX

Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) dropped more than 2% on Thursday after China, the biggest supplier of rare earths, almost doubled its export quota for the second half less than two weeks after the World Trade Organization found that its limits on raw- material shipments broke global rules.

Shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) surge more than 6% after the company announced that its board of directors has approved pursuing the separation of the company's Refining & Marketing and Exploration & Production businesses into two stand-alone, publicly traded corporations via a tax-free spin of the refining and marketing business to ConocoPhillips shareholders. Following the completion of the proposed separation, ConocoPhillips will be a large and geographically diverse pure-play exploration and production company with strong returns and investment opportunities. The company's strategy of enhancing returns on capital through developing new resources, growing reserves and production per share, continuing the asset sale program and increasing shareholder distributions will not change.

Consol Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) jumped more than 5% after the company lifted its outlook for total coal production this year, citing strong performance in a handful of its mines. The company has benefited with other coal producers from robust global demand even as it aggressively expands its natural-gas production in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale formation. For the full year, Consol now sees annual coal production between 62 million and 63 million tons, up from its prior expectation of 60 million to 62 million tons. For the current quarter, it expects production between 14.4 and 14.8 million tons, while in the quarter ended June 30, Consol expects total coal production of 15.4 million tons.

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