Natural Gas Cars Closer Than You Think?

By Quint Tatro  JUN 18, 2009 9:50 AM

V-Vehicle may have good news for Westport Innovations.


Editor's note: The following is this morning's market commentary from Quint Tatro to his subscribers of FlexFolio.  For a 2-week free trial, click here.

This morning it dawned on me just how key it was that we moved to extreme cash levels last Friday. Hindsight being 20/20, it sure would have been nice to keep the hedges as "shorts," but changing a trade plan mid-trade is never a good idea. Nonetheless, I’ve manage to keep the account at YTD highs -- pushing 9% for the year -- while the S&P barely stays in the black.

Today, I enter with more noise pushing around the opening ticks. If you dig deeper, however, you'll see an interesting headline: It seems even the terrible auto industry can’t keep capitalism down. Business Insider reports that a California auto company, V-Vehicle, has taken over an abandoned factory in Northern Louisiana in order to establish their new manufacturing plant.

Why should you care about this, you ask? Details on the model of the automobile they’ll be making have yet to be released; however, one of the company's primary backers is T. Boone Pickens.

For those not in the know, T. Boone is one of the primary drivers behind compressed natural gas and a major holder of both Clean Energy (CLNE) and Westport Innovations (WPRT). In addition, CLNE secured the purchase of the Phill home refueling station last year, and has been on a rampage to buy up fueling stations around the country in order to distribute compressed natural gas.

So... Do you think V-Vehicle will be producing solar cars? I doubt it. My guess is that this will be the first domestic manufacturer of NGVs -- Natural Gas Vehicles.

Again, why should you care? Because WPRT -- which I own -- is a key player in the industry -- and, while it isn't directly tied to the consumer market, it has the strongest foothold within the heavy-duty market due to its partnership with Cummins Engines (CMI).

Technically speaking, WPRT is set up nicely today, and I'll consider adding shares on a move over yesterday’s high.

I'm eyeing a few other longs and a few other shorts, so stay tuned. Today should be interesting.

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Position in WPRT

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