Friday, July 10, 2009

A Look at Fuel Systems Solutions

Fuel Systems Solutions Inc. (FSYS) is in the whole alternative fuel/vehicle arena. This is an interesting space to me right now as prices remain depressed, while the two main drivers for their business (1. Potential for conventional fuel prices to spike again, and 2. Alternative energy/fuels gain traction in Washington. (NAT GAS act has reached the senate)). To me, these two are both there, and could very well both happen in a big way. First, lets take a quick step back for a description of the company(this is all directly from Yahoo Finance):

  • Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. engages in the design, manufacture, and supply of alternative fuel components and systems for use in the transportation, industrial, and power generation industries. Its components and systems control the pressure and flow of gaseous alternative fuels, such as propane and natural gas used in internal combustion engines.
  • The company offers a range of gaseous fuel components, including fuel delivery—pressure regulators, fuel injectors, flow control valves, and other components to control the pressure, flow, and/or metering of gaseous fuels; electronic controls, such as solid-state components and proprietary software that monitor and optimize fuel pressure and flow for engine requirements; and gaseous fueled internal combustion engines. It also provides systems integration support to integrate the gaseous fuel storage, fuel delivery, and/or electronic control components and sub-systems; various ancillary components for systems operation on alternative fuels; and engineering and systems integration services.
  • The company supplies its products and systems primarily to automobile manufacturers, taxi companies, transit and shuttle bus companies, and delivery fleets through a network of distributors and dealers, as well as through a sales force that develops sales with distributors, original equipment manufacturers, and end-users.
Earnings wise, they're estimated to make 1.37 in 2009 and 1.73 in 2010, while trading at 12x current year earnings, and 1.8x book value. To me, they're being valued as a value play while earning like a growth company. Last quarter, expectations had dropped and they really surprised to the upside:

  • Shares of Fuel Systems Solutions Inc. jumped Friday, a day after it said first quarter earnings rose 15 percent and reaffirmed its 2009 sales expectations.
  • Fuel Systems reported a profit of $7.1 million, or 44 cents per share, in the first three months of the year, compared with $6.2 million, or 40 cents per share, for the same period in 2008.
  • First-quarter revenue was $80.1 million, down from $94.6 million in the first quarter of 2008. The Santa Ana, Calif.-based company said the drop in revenue was due to lower demand in the market for industrial forklifts and a negative foreign exchange impact of about $9.8 million.
  • Analyst Robert Brown with Craig-Hallum Capital praised the company's recent decision to acquire FuelMaker, a manufacturer of natural gas and hydrogen fueling systems, for $7 million. Brown said Fuel Systems should meet or beat earnings of $2 a share in 2010.

This stock was on fire in 2008 as we saw that same perfect storm of high energy prices and political pressure for alternative energies (Pickens plan launched almost exactly one year ago). I could see the same sort of thing happening again for Fuel Systems Solutions. Stock wise, they had a pretty sizable share issuance (who didn't in the past two months?), which has hurt shares. We have some time here before they report quarterly earnings, and I'm likely going to pick up some shares at these levels, and definitely if they sell off further. Here are two charts (weekly and daily).

Disclosure: None.

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