The New Golden Age of Railroads

John Petersen Did you know that both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have billion dollar investments in railroads? If so, did you ever wonder why? For Mr. Buffett, it's an indirect investment through Berkshire Hathaway, which bought the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad outright in February of last year. For Mr. Gates, it's a direct 10.04% stake in Canadian National Railway. The reason is simple. Railroads are the cheapest, cleanest and most energy efficient ground transportation networks in the world, which effectively guarantees them an increasingly important role as the world comes to grips with...

Manufacturers Going All Out for Self-driving Car Tech

There is a clutch of self-driving cars and cars with autonomous driving features on the market today.  Drivers just cannot seem to get enough of them.  Apparently, the idea of zooming down the highway with little to no responsibility holds considerable appeal.  Then again, maybe it is the novelty of the idea that will eventually give way to the next fad. In August 2018, Cox Automotive revealed the results of a survey that found fewer Americans are embracing self-driving technology than previously thought.  A surprising 49% of respondents said they would NEVER own a fully-autonomous car.  This is up from 30% naysayers two years ago. Views...

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Three Mass Transit Operators

Tom Konrad, CFA Government budgets are putting pressure on mass transit operators, but the best public companies are likely to benefit from the trend. Three recent Economist articles led me to question my assumption that rising oil prices should be good for mass transit operators.  In the August 19th edition, there was an article about mass transit service cuts in Atlanta, as well as one about the likelihood of rising rail fares in Britain.  In crisis, there is also opportunity.  Reading beyond the gloomy headline of the Atlanta article, it becomes clear that the...

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Bicycle and Scooter Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA When gas prices rise, more people turn to bicycles for transportation.  Will these bike and scooter stocks ride in the oil price's slipstream? UPDATE: Here is an article on one more bicycle stock that should have been on this list: Shimano (SHMDF.PK). A 2008 survey of bicycle retailers found that the vast majority of bike store owners felt that their sales had increased because many people were turning to bicycles for some of their transportation needs because of high gas prices.   95% of store owners reported that they had new customers because of...

List of Alternative Transportation Stocks

Alternative Transportation Stocks are publicly traded companies that offer transportation options that use less fuel per passenger-mile or freight-mile than traditional options. Includes mass transit (both rail and bus), bicycles, and two wheel vehicles. A. P. Moller - Maersk Group (MAERSK-B.CO) Accell Group (ACCEL.AS) Blue Bird Corporation (BLBD) Bombardier Inc (BDRBF) Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (0MK5.L) CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive (ZHUZF) Canadian National Railway Company (CNI) Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) CSX Corporation (CSX) Cubic Corporation (CUB) Dorel Industries (DIIBF) Firstgroup, PLC (FGP.L) Giant Manufacturing (9921.TW) Grande West Transportation Group Inc. (BUS.V) Great Lakes Dredge and Dock (GLDD) Greenbrier (GBX) L. B. Foster (FSTR) Merida Industry Co. Ltd. (9914.TW) National Express Group (NEX.L) New Flyer Industries (NFYEF, NFI.TO) Norfolk...

What I Learned During Last Week’s Visit With ePower

John Petersen Last week I spent a couple days with ePower Engine Systems working my way through a variety of business and technical due diligence issues. As always happens with new clients, it was a full immersion course in how ePower’s technology works, what the documented performance of the current tractor is, and how that performance is expected to change as ePower: transitions from a four cylinder engine designed for stationary use to an EPA compliant six cylinder engine designed for the trucking industry; automates a new charge control system that will opportunistically charge the batteries in...

Ebay: A Sustainable Social Distancing Stock

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Of the few survivors of the dot com bust, Ebay (EBAY) is a perennial also-ran.  It owned the market for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions in 2000, but has since repeatedly lost market share.  Nevertheless, the company remains a profitable business that enables the sustainable reuse of easy to ship items while returning cash to investors. Note: My supporters on Patreon got an early look at this article.  Want to support my work and get previews of my writing?  Join them here. The Competition for Sellers In the early 2000s, Ebay lost sellers to Amazon's (AMZN) marketplace, which had the...

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Nine Mass Transit Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA In 2007 and 2008, high gasoline prices gave a large boost to mass transit ridership. Here are the stocks that might benefit if that scenario repeats itself. Americans are notoriously attached to their cars, but high oil prices in 2007 and 2008 led many to get on a bus or train.  According to a 2009 paper Transit Ridership Models: Present Status and Future Needs by Grace Galluci and John D Allen, Ph.D. from Chicago's Regional Transportation Authority, current published transit ridership models do not yet incorporate changes in gasoline prices.  The authors consider...

When Isn’t a $68M Civil Action Material?

Tom Konrad CFA David and Goliath (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Last week, I investigated the Goliath vs. David civil action in which Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad (WLE) are attempting to prevent Power REIT (NYSE:PW) from foreclosing on the lease of the 112 miles of track owned by Power REIT and operated by WLE under a sublease with NSC. As in Biblical times, Power REIT, in its role as David, looks likely to surprise the market with a legal victory.  I calculated that any victory could lead to payments...

A Green Peak Oil Company Expanding in North America: Stagecoach Group

Tom Konrad CFA What’s the budget-conscious way to travel in the US? If you buy in advance, flying is still reasonably priced, but increased security and wait times mean that it’s quicker to drive for shorter trips. With current high gas prices, driving is increasingly expensive. Except on a few routes, Amtrak is slow, has very limited service, and costs a bundle. In our new peak oil world of $4 gas and, more and more people are opting for bus travel.  The young like it: My girlfriend’s daughter travels by bus almost exclusively, even though she owns a car....

Historic Oil/Gas and Gas/Coal prices provide opportunity for fuel switching

Oil Gas and Coal Gas Ratio That sound you hear is the stampede of shale gas drillers away from dry gas plays. The irrational exuberance of shale gas drillers, chief amongst them Chesapeake's voluble Aubrey McLendon, is leading to an impressive destruction of capital. The long run marginal cost is significantly above the current spot price. With natural gas storage bursting at the seams, natural gas is reverting to its historical nuisance byproduct as drilling moves to liquid rich plays. While not sustainable in the long term, the present pricing situation presents opportuinities to...

Ameresco, New Flyer, PFB: Q1 Efficiency Earnings Highlights

Tom Konrad CFA Performance contractor Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) reported earnings on May 9th. Revenues were below analyst expectations, but Chairman, CEO, and President George Sakellaris put this down to timing issues, and stuck by his full year guidance. Strong growth in the firm’s backlog and awarded project’s seem to back up this relatively optimistic view.  From the earnings call transcript e are very confident about the improving market conditions in few of our regions, as well as continued growth in our all other offerings. These are expected to be the growth drivers for the near-term. We are also...

Why the Sell-off at New Flyer?

Tom Konrad CFA Heavy duty transit bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries (NFI.TO/NFYEF.PK) released its fourth quarter earnings and annual report on March 21, quickly followed by analyst downgrades from CIBC and Canacord Genuity. Too far, too fast Over the next few days, the stock fell from over $8 to below $7, although it is still well above the level where followers of my Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2012 would have purchased ($5.65) even after dividend payments worth $0.22.  After a rise like New Flyer has had over the last three months, some investors took the...

Time to Buy One of the Best Peak Oil Investments

Tom Konrad CFA The Euro crisis rolls out a bargain in the stock of a leading e-bike manufacturer. A little over a year ago, I concluded a 27 part series looking into non-oil stocks that might benefit from rising oil prices by picking what I thought were the four best stocks I had found in the process.  I had not yet bought any of the stocks picked because, as I said at the time, I personally do not...

New Flyer Consolidates Leading Position in Transit Bus and Parts Markets

Tom Konrad CFA On June 21st, leading North American heavy-duty transit bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries (TSX:NFI, OTC:NFYEF) announced the acquisition of its third largest competitor, North American Bus Industries from private equity firm Cerberus Capital. The following Monday, New Flyer management held a call to discuss the acquisition with analysts.   Here are the highlights. Cost and Financing: The C$84 million cost to New Flyer consists almost entirely of the assumption and discharge of NABI’s existing debt.  This will be funded with C$64 million by issuing to the world’s second largest bus maker Marcopolo S.A. for C$10.50 a...

The Four Best Peak Oil Investments

Tom Konrad CFA The best four stocks I've found in my six month quest to find the best peak oil investments. I apologize for being a tease.  Since March, I've been writing this series I've called "The Best Peak Oil Investments," but in many cases what I've actually done is to warn readers to stay away from particular sectors.  This bait-and-switch was compounded for my syndicated readers at Seeking Alpha when their editors decided to re-title the early articles in this series "Peak Oil Investments I'm Putting My Money On."  If you've stuck...
Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami