This Bureau of Mines paper discusses the corporate structure dynamics, methods of financing, and financial assessment approaches that should be utilized to evaluate the economic health of the coal industry. It suggests rates of return and other measures of corporate economies necessary to attract capital required to finance emerging coal demand, plus impact of coal sales to total revenues. The study illuminates the activities of 30 selected coal-producing companies, including their subsidiaries or affiliates, that were responsible for approximately 60 percent of the total U.S. production in 1974. The selected firms are not all primary coal producers; many of the larger producers are classified by the financial institutions as petroleum, metal, and steel producers, public utilities, or chemical industries. The bituminous coal industry is highly competitive as to price, service, and quality of product and is subject to competition from other noncoal energy sources. The top 15 bituminous coal-producing companies mined about 46.6 percent of the nation's total production in 1974, and the balance of approximately 3,885 companies were responsible for the rest of the production. Thus, the U.S. bituminous coal industry is not an oligopoly. Today, about 65 percent of the nation's total coal production is consumed by electric power utilities and 26 percent by steel, space heating, and other industries; the balance of 9 percent is exported.