Biofuel and Solar Debates; News for New Flyer, LSB, Finavera, Ram Power & Exide -The Week In Cleantech: 6-8-2012

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Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad

June 4: Public Transit Ridership Rising Sharply

The American Public Transportation Association reported Monday that Americans took almost 125 million more rides on public transit in January, February and March than they did in the same period last year an increase of 4.98 percent, the largest since the first quarter of 1999.  The rise was due to a combination of high gas prices and economic growth.  Good news for mass transit stocks, like New Flyer (NFYEF), which just unveiled a battery-electric bus prototype.

June 5: World Environment Day


  • RDM Rio+20Today is World Environment Day, a day for positive environmental action.  This year’s theme is the Green Economy: Does it Include You?  As alternative energy investors, it certainly includes us!  Artists Project Earth launched the album Rhythms del Mundo Rio+20 featuring Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, Sting, and a host of other great artists to commemorate the day.
  • LSB Industries (LXU) gained almost a dollar today when it detailed the status of its El Dorado chemical plant, which had been damaged on May 15th.  The price increase is somewhat surprising, given that the damage was quite extensive, and my best guess is that LSB will be liable for it full insurance deductibles.  In other words, the financial impact on LSB is as large as it could have been.  But given that the stock sold off way too far (again, because of the insurance coverage) it perhaps should not be surprising that the stock is now overreacting on the upside.
  • New Flyer (NFYEF) completes an offering subordinated notes, the proceeds of which will be used to redeem the debentures which form a part of New Flyer’s old IDS structure.  The new notes will be listed on the Toronto stock exchange, but not offered for sale in the US.

June 6: Solar Industry Unites to Avoid a Major Solar Trade War

JS: Here’s the latest solar trade conflict update from the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy.

TK: Finavera Wind Energy (FNVRF) secured an $850K bridge loan, at 7% interest.  This loan will be used to fund ongoing development, and should be enough to tide the company over until a development deal can be reached for Finavera’s Tumbler Ridge project.

June 7: Debate over RFS2 is creating uncertainty for investors


  • The hope for a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) was to provide stability that investors needed to invest in the biofuels industry.  Now the political debate over RFS2 is doing just the opposite by “creating uncertainty in the minds of investors,” according to Terrabon CEO Gary Luce.
  • Ram Power Corp (RPG.TO, RAMPF) is negotiating a tariff increase for its San Jacinto project in Nicaragua.

June 8: Exide (XIDE) surprises analysts with loss; stock rises.

TK: Exide (XIDE) missed analyst earnings expectations for their fiscal fourth quarter by 11 cents, reporting a loss per share of 3 cents against expectations of a 8 cent profit.  The stock initially sold off to a low of $2.35, but rose as soon as the market digested the details, and is currently trading at $2.67.  As I wrote last week, “It’s hard to see how even an earnings miss could send the stock down much from the current price of $2.31.”  Still, the stock price jump is surprising.  From listening to the conference call, I think the positive reaction is mostly due to progress in restructuring the business, and a large jump in cash flow from a cash flow loss of $73 million in the previous quarter, to positive $8.2 million this quarter.

JS: No positions.

Jeff Siegel is Editor of Energy and Capital.
Tom Konrad Ph.D. CFA is Editor of, and a blogger on


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