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...

Questions About Dividend Spook New Flyer Investors. Why I’m Buying

Tom Konrad CFA If I could only own one stock, it would not be a stock.  It would be a Canadian "income deposit security:" New Flyer Industries which trades in Toronto as NFI-UN.TO and on the Pink sheets as NFYIF.PK. Cyclical industry New Flyer is the largest of the five suppliers of heavy duty transit buses in North America.  Unlike its competitors, New Flyer is focused solely on transit bus sales, parts, and service.  The company has industry leading technology, offering a full range of bus styles and propulsion systems, including  diesel, liquid or compressed natural...

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...

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Maersk

Tom Konrad CFA Containerized shipping is the most efficient way to move goods, but few ships are nearly as efficient as they could be.  One company is steaming ahead of the pack. It seems obvious that more international trade increases greenhouse gas emissions.  After all, if we buy local products rather than products made halfway around the world, we will save all the carbon emissions required to ship them to us.  It also seems to make sense that rising fuel prices will lead to a decrease in international trade, as companies reduce fuel use by assembling things...

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...

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....

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Accell and Six Other Bicycle Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA This article gathers all the bicycle and e-bike stocks I've found in one place, and takes a look at a recent find: Accell Group (ACCEL.AS). When I first became interested in alternative transportation as a peak-oil investing theme in late 2007, I was frustrated at my inability to find very many good alternative transportation stocks: The list of bike stocks I found was already very out-of date, and the lists of rail transit and bus companies I found did not distinguish between publicly traded companies I could invest in, and private companies I could...

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Pure-Play Mass Transit Suppliers

Tom Konrad CFA I'm attempting to bring this series on peak oil stocks to a conclusion in which I can choose five stocks that should benefit from rising oil prices.  One sector I feel should be represented is suppliers to mass transit companies, but I only looked at the percentage of revenues coming from mass transit and rail when I brought you my list of nine mass transit stocks.  From that list, the following companies get substantially all their revenues from mass transit, passenger rail, or rail freight: New Flyer Industries (NFYIF.PK/NFI-UN.TO), is the largest manufacturer...

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Shimano

Tom Konrad CFA I missed Shimano (SHMDF.PK) in my recent list of bicycle and scooter stocks, but in many ways, Shimano is the best of the lot. Shimano Inc. manufactures bicycle components and fishing and rowing gear, with the bike segment accounting for about four-fifths of sales, but I had not realized that they were public until I received a note from a reader in response to my recent article on bike and moped stocks. In that article, I noted that, while bike sales rose in response to rising oil prices in 2008, bicycle repairs surged...

Buying Opportunity at Renewable Energy REIT, Courtesy of Disgruntled Shareholder

Tom Konrad CFA Power REIT (AMEX:PW) aims to be the first renewable energy infrastructure Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The Renewable Energy REIT Renewable energy advocates have been calling for a change in the tax laws to allow renewable energy within the REIT structure.  A REIT is allowed to pass profits directly through to investors.  These profits are not subject to double-taxation like most corporate profits.  Owning shares of a renewable REIT would be much like owning a slice of a wind or solar farm.  This would open up the renewable energy investment opportunity to everyone, not just...

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...

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...

Will Electric Bicycles Get Americans to Start Pedaling?

by Marc Gunther.  First Published on Yale Environment 360 Electric bicycles are already popular in Europe and in China, which has more e-bikes than cars on its roads. Now, manufacturers are marketing e-bikes in the U.S., promoting them as a "green" alternative to driving. Most Americans know about Tesla , the Chevy Volt, and the Nissan Leaf. But what about Evelo, the eZip Trailz, and the Faraday Porteur? The first three are, of course, electric cars. They benefit from a lot of media attention and generous government subsidies, including a...

Another Chance To Buy Power REIT On The Cheap

Tom Konrad CFA An earlier version of this article appeared on the author's Forbes blog on June 3rd. An article about Power REIT (NYSE:PW) that came out on Seeking Alpha on May 30th has sent some investors running for the hills.  The article has since been removed from Seeking Alpha.  According to PW's CEO, David Lesser,  Seeking Alpha’s editorial staff concluded that it had reached unsupported and erroneous conclusions after discussions with him and Ryan Griffin, the article’s author.  Ryan Griffin told me that he did not have time to respond to the...

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...

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...