Thursday, August 9, 2007

James River Coal Company

James River Coal Company is a NASDAQ listed security that has been trading in a range between $6.04 and $21.79 over the past year. With 16,614,840 shares outstanding, a recent price of $7.57 gives a total market capitalization of $151,525,675. While there are certainly larger companies, James River Coal Company has definitely earned its place in the pack. Last year, James River Coal Company created $-2.19 in earnings for every share outstanding.

James River Coal Company is currently priced by the market at 0.00 times last year’s earnings. Many trading multiples around the world are quite attractive these days, but don’t be fooled. A Price to Earnings ratio of 0 simply means that the security didn’t make any money last year.

With a share price under $50 a share and earnings per share below $1 a share, James River Coal Company is unlikely to be an interesting value proposition. Consistent earnings are the key to high valuations and this security is not on its way.