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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Aerovironment’s New Farm Worker

by Debra Fiakas CFA Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had their starting point in military exercises, carrying surveillance cameras and even bombs to sensitive sites.  Drones as we have come to call them have also zoomed across the horizons of adventuresome consumers, who see sport and entertainment possibilities.  However, drones offer time and cost savings, quality and accuracy in data gathering and safety to a host of scientists, engineers and infrastructure operators.  According to industry research firm Markets and Markets, the unmanned aerial market is estimated to be $13.2 billion in the current year and has the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Less Well Known Autonomous Car Stocks

Car manufacturers have fully embraced self-driving or autonomous cars.  It is not because they have heard a loud clamor for such technology from consumers.  No, automakers are keen on the idea because manufacture of self-driving cars could help them overcome the short comings of highly cyclical sales pattern associated with its car dependent upon a single driver.  In other words, they are in it for themselves whether consumers benefit or not. If consumers are not so important, at least investors should benefit. Besides the car manufacturers there are a few smaller companies that can give investors a taste of the self-driving car phenomenon. LiDar and...

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: 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 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...
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