Westport’s New Address

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, August 15, 2008

You can now find Westport Innovations on the Nasdaq — they got their US listing and IPO today, so if you’ve been dying to buy this developer of alternative fuel engines but didn’t like the pink sheet or Canadian listings, you’re in luck. It’s trading under the ticker symbol WPRT, if you happened to own pink sheets shares in the US they will probably be converted automatically by your broker.

Of course, Westport Innovations shareholders are considerably less lucky, at least lately — the shares went public at $12 when they sold shares on Nasdaq in their US IPO, which was already a steep discount to where they traded a month or two ago, and they are falling in initial trading. The dilution is probably part of it, since this was a new stock offering, and the falling oil price is likely another part — the argument for natural gas engines as competitors to diesel is undoubtedly stronger when oil is near $150 a barrel than when it seems headed back to $100.

I still like the prospects for the company, and continue to hold shares personally. You might remember that this was a candidate for a full writeup back when I launched this site but I chose Seadrill instead, partly because Westport was then trading at a nosebleed price (as was Seadrill, in retrospect). The potential for the stock hasn’t changed much, the big potential remains in heavy trucks as Westport builds up a factory to help supply the expected demand from California ports and other large fleets, and it looks like the Cummins Westport joint venture continues to see very high demand for smaller fleet vehicles (buses, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, and other local fleets).

The shares have had a volatile past, with a lot of hype, but it appears to me that they’re finally building a viable revenue stream … we’ll see how it develops, there will be a lot of attention paid to their new factory that should be coming online in collaboration with Kenworth in Washington State in “early 2009” to fill the orders that are rolling in for port trucks and others.

I own shares of Westport Innovations

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