Monday, September 1, 2014

Stock portfolio running rough? Switch to biofuels

There are 15 cellulosic ethanol projects under development in the United States today with a construction value worth an estimated $2 billion, according to Industrial Info Resources, a provider of global market intelligence in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets.

Iowa alone will soon see the opening of two large commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants. Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the inedible parts of plants. But cellulosic ethanol is only one type of biofuel. As an investor you want to pick the right biofuel stock that will keep your portfolio running clean and green. Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEIX) may be a good pick for a “biofuel rush” in California.

Pacific Ethanol

Pacific Ethanol is the leading producer and marketer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States. Pacific Ethanol also sells co-products, including wet distillers grain, a nutritional animal feed.

Serving integrated oil companies and gasoline marketers who blend ethanol into gasoline, Pacific Ethanol provides transportation, storage and delivery of ethanol through third-party service providers in the Western United States, primarily in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. The company has a 91 percent ownership interest in PE Op Co., the owner of four ethanol production facilities. Pacific operates and manages the four ethanol production facilities, which have a combined annual production capacity of 200 million gallons. These operating facilities are located in Boardman, Ore., Burley, Idaho, Stockton, Calif. and Madera, Calif. The facilities are near their respective fuel and feed customers, offering significant timing, transportation cost and logistical advantages.

PEIX shares are up 519 percent over the last 52 weeks (Sept. 3, 2013 to Aug. 29, 2014). This year alone the stock is up 354 percent, closing Friday at $23.11 per share, up three percent for the day. PEIX has a 52-week low of $2.33 and a high of $23.15.

For a dividend play we turn our attention to FutureFuel Corp. (NYSE:FF) in Montana.


FutureFuel is a leading manufacturer of diversified chemical products and biobased products comprised of biofuels and biobased specialty chemical products.

In its chemicals business, it manufactures specialty chemicals for specific customers (custom manufacturing) as well as multi-customer specialty chemicals (performance chemicals).

Its custom manufacturing product portfolio includes a bleach activator for a major detergent manufacturer, a proprietary herbicide and intermediates for a major life sciences company, and chlorinated polyolefin adhesion promoters and antioxidant precursors for a major chemical company. The performance chemicals product portfolio includes polymer (nylon) modifiers and several small-volume specialty chemicals for diverse applications.

In its biofuels segment, the company predominantly produces biodiesel.

FF shares are down 13 percent over the last 52 weeks (Sept. 3, 2013 to Aug. 29, 2014). This year alone the stock is down 11 percent, closing Friday at $13.92 per share, down 0.3 percent for the day. FF has a 52-week low of $13.34 and a high of $22.25.

The company paid a dividend of $0.25 in November and $0.12 in February, May and August.

Disclaimer: This post is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. I am neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. Keith Stein has no position in any stocks mentioned in this post. DCNewsroom has no position in any of the stocks mentioned in this post.

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