Whitehaven Coal (WHC:AU), an expanding New South Wales coal producer, has been rated ‘3+’ on the PortfolioDirect five point rating scale. Strong share price gains have left the market price within 5% of the PortfolioDirect assessed value. There is now less scope for company initiated activities to precipitate a further re-pricing of the company in the near term. Further price appreciation will depend increasingly on a cyclical recovery in coal prices which has not been assumed in the valuation analysis although accumulating evidence of the company's operational capabilities will remain important. Both possibilities imply the potential for medium to longer term share price gains. The company offers investors leverage to improved coal prices and future value uplift from both output expansion and an ongoing reappraisal of the risk profile of the company. Whitehaven produces high quality thermal and semi soft coals with the low ash and sulphur levels needed for increasingly efficient coal burning power plants. The quality of its coal can assist in lowering carbon emissions making it a sought-after alternative to other coal types.