As our collective global socio-eco conscience becomes better developed, there is fast growing concern on how large of a carbon footprint we are leaving for future generations to deal with on our behalf. As a result, literally dozens of companies are involved in the research, marketing and production of sustainable and clean-burning fuels. Investors have jumped on board by the thousands, recognizing that growth in this sector is not a fad but a necessary trend. There are loads of options for prospective buyers here, ranging from investing in companies that design and produce alternative and clean fuels to investing in the companies that design and sell the engines that run on the fuels. One fuel option in particular is looking mighty viable as a replacement for utilizing gas and diesel in engines and that is, surprisingly, natural gas.
Before you scoff, consider this; natural gas is clean, it is considerably cheaper, and it is already being seriously considered as an alternative to gasoline. Natural gas is abundant and, this is key, can be domestically sourced which in turn reduces our nation’s reliance on imported oil based products. So, naturally, you may be thinking that an investment in a company that offers engines that burn clean fuels sounds like it might be a worthwhile prospect. Well, it definitely has some merit. In fact a lot of factors are coming together that might just make now the perfect time to invest in the perfect storm for natural gas to become the up-and-coming alternative fuel source for vehicles on the road today. The trucking industry has already said that it wants to use natural gas, the truck-stop operators are ready to sell it, and Corporate America has indicated that it will be happy to cash in on the major cost cuts that natural gas will bring. As a clean, cheaper alternative choice, natural gas also has White House and Congressional support, and is gaining a serious toehold abroad, especially in China.
Now consider Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT), which may be the strongest pure play in today’s market for any company that produces engines and fuel system technologies that use natural gas. The Canadian based company’s engines are designed operate on clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, and bio-fuels such as landfill gas. The company’s venture with Cummins Inc. (NASDAQ: CMI) makes and sells the most expansive range of low-emissions alternative fuel engines for trucks and buses globally. The company also has contracts with dozens of top manufacturers. WPRT leverages its technology by partnering with OEMs to develop, build and sell its engines. The strategic partnerships provide it with entry points to manufacturing capacity, supply chain infrastructure and global distribution networks without acquiring the outlay associated with them. A huge plus in my opinion.
Having said all that, the company is currently in a trading range with a general bearish bias. However, the 20 day moving average is trending towards a bullish bias. The company has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is trading at $28.08. Westport is well positioned to grow rapidly as natural gas and other clean fuel alternatives take hold. It’s definitely a long-term play that could pay off handsomely for perspective investors. In the end, it’s simply a matter of where your particular beliefs take you and what you deem best for your portfolio.