Selling coal but sticking with resources

Could natural-resource stocks soon be falling out of favor?

By Jim J. Jubak Dec 7, 2009 4:28PM

Jim JubakI'm going to move to reduce the exposure of my Dividend Income Portfolio to the natural-resources sector by selling coal-mining master limited partnership Natural Resource Partners (NRP).


My choice was between selling this master limited partnership or Penn Virginia Resources (PVR), and I decided to stick with Penn Virginia because the company's gas distribution, coal-bed methane and timber assets give it a more diversified blend of natural-resources businesses than Natural Resource Partners.


Part of this sell decision is a timing call: It looks like the natural-resources sector of the stock market could be due to rotate out of favor. (For more on that, see this post.)


Part of the decision is company-specific, though. The company has seen debt rise in the third quarter. That, plus coal volumes that, in the third quarter were down 28% from the third quarter of 2008, will make it hard for the company to increase distributions by more than a few cents a unit in 2010.


I'm selling these units out of my Dividend Income Portfolio with a 60% drop in price since I purchased them on September 6, 2005, but with a total loss, including $1,553 in dividends, of 44%.


The company paid its third-quarter dividend on Nov. 13. 


Jim Jubak plans to sell his units of Natural Resource Partners three days after this column is posted.

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