Every now and then, I run across a statistic or a fact that
makes me feel really stupid. I kick myself: "Why didn't I already
What got me is that myred Dodge Ram 1500 is technically
classified as a "light truck." I was mortally offended. My pickup
has a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and is as loud as the Space Shuttle and
almost as fuel efficient. It doesn't feel like a light
But it is.
The thing that matters more than light trucks, though, are the
larger semi trucks that roll down the highway. There are millions
of them. They drive a huge amount of miles, and they get about five
miles to the gallon. These rigs burn through billions of gallons of
diesel a year.
Imagine if we could replace diesel with something else... that
fuel would be a serious Game-Changer.
If that fuel were cleaner than gasoline and diesel, then
transportation emissions would drastically decrease. And if this
new fuel were cheaper, the diesel dominos would begin to fall.
Now, hold on to your hats. Because the reality is, all of those
various kinds of light and heavy trucks -- and cars, too -- can get
the same energy out of a fuel that costs about half what diesel
Let me explain...
Natural gas is abundant, clean and, unlike oil, can be
domestically sourced. In fact, there's an entire ocean of natural
gas in this country waiting to get tapped.
As most of you already know, natural gas production is on the
rise because of an increase in oil production in the nation's
massive shale formations.
What you may not know is that natural gas has the ability to
displace billions of gallons of diesel, not only on the road, but
for heavy equipment like cranes and bulldozers and even tractors
and combines on the farm.
That's all around the corner. And I've found astock that is the
strongest pure play on this trend.
That stock is
Westport Innovations (Nasdaq: WPRT)
This is an area that has several key tailwinds behind it:
environmental, governmental, industry support -- such that
I think natural gas vehicles are the inevitable
Westport makes natural gas engines that are cost-competitive
with diesel engines and have 80% of the parts in common.
Vancouver-based Westport has amarket cap of $1.5 billion, which
is right in the sweetspot for the types of companies I like to
, my bi-monthly stock advisory, which focuses on aggressive
It's growing its top line, and not by a little. The orders for
these vehicles are clearly fueling remarkable growth: In the past
12 months, it's booked $371.48 million, according to Bloomberg, a
64% increase from the $226.5 million recorded in fiscal 2011. (And
that figure was $100 million more than the year before, in
That's the type of growth Westport is seeing now.
Today, as we speak, there aren't all that many of these cars on
the road in this country. So imagine what thatrevenue is going to
do when consumers learn they can drive a car on fuel that costs
drastically less than gas -- or when truckers start buying big rigs
that burn clean fuel that lets them sidestep ever-increasing diesel
Action to Take -->
A number of factors have converged to form what looks alot like the
perfect storm for natural gas to become a substantial fuel source.
Supply and pricing dynamics, industry support, continuing
infrastructure development, strong political support and
international opportunity -- it's all there. There's simply too
much to say on these points to fit into one article.
But let me be clear: None of this is theoretical. None of it is
on a chalkboard.
It's here. It's happening.
The trucking industry wants to use natural gas, the truck-stop
operators are willing to sell it, and Corporate America is only too
glad to embrace the significant cost cuts natural gaswill
Natural gas also clearly has White House and Congressional
support, and it is gaining serious traction abroad, especially in
China. Aprime candidate to invest in the space is clearly the pure
Westport is just the tip of the iceberg... The abundance of natural
gas in the United States will lead to theinvesting in the natural
gas boom, click
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