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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

New Flyer: An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Tom Konrad CFA A couple readers have asked me if they should accept the New Flyer (NFI-UN.TO/NFYIF.PK) Rights offering to exchange their C$5.53 principal 14% subordinated notes for nine shares of New Flyer common stock.  The answer is most emphatically YES. When I last wrote about New Flyer, I knew that they were planning to convert from their unusual stapled security structure to a more conventional share structure, but I was not certain how they could entice IDS holders to go along with the swap.  Now, it's clear.  The New Flyer IDS is the...

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...

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...

New Flyer Sees Bus Market Revival

Tom Konrad CFA Highlights from New Flyer Industries’ (TSX:NFI, OTC:NFYEF) first quarter conference call The Numbers New Flyer announced first quarter results on May 9.  The results were: Q1 2012 Q1 2011 Earnings up; reverses loss $2.7 million profit $6.4 million loss Revenue up 6.2% $227.6 million $214.3 million The improved numbers mostly arise from a more favorable product mix, and the benefits of New Flyer’s restructuring, which removed most of the debt burden.  The North American transit bus market remains very competitive, and this competition...