Capstone's Microturbines Making Headway In Russia

| About: Capstone Turbine (CPST)

When Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ:CPST) quickly soared past the two dollar mark earlier this year on a run of large orders and a presidential mention, many shareholders thought that this time the run would be for real, and the stock would never look back towards to the days it spent trading for under a buck.

That said, Capstone shares were heavily shorted at the highs, and even solid earnings and margin growth could not keep shares from falling back into dollar territory as the market as a whole took a hit. The unsustained rise and subsequent drop in price illustrates the fact that until Capstone can reach that ever elusive goal of profitability, volatility will rule the day and investors will continue to have to play the peaks and valleys.

Progress is being made, however.

Recent orders and announcements have highlighted the diversity of Capstone's microturbines, with units being used in hospitals and hybrid vehicles, as well as in oil and gas plays around the globe.

Orders for Capstone's units also originated from Russia earlier this year, for use both in a shopping mall and also for a rail line. The headway in Russia is continuing, with a pair of press releases earlier this month emphasizing the growing popularity of Capstone's microturbines in the Near and Far East.

It's not every day that you hear about the Russian republic of Tatarstan in our neck of the woods, but the President of that Republic announced last week that "Tatarstan's oil companies and specifically Tatneft will be deploying Capstone microturbines and Capstone Organic Rankin Cycle (NYSE:ORC) machines for associated gas to energy projects."

Tatarstan is a highly industrialized region, with oil and gas providing its number one revenue stream.

This is not the first order for Capstone's products to the region, but the presidential commitment from Tatarstan reiterates the positive trend of banking reorders from existing customers, something Capstone has done much of this year.

The Tatarstan news followed an announcement just days earlier that the Russian Federal Agency for Railway Transport placed an order for sixteen C65 and C30 microturbines to be installed in combined heat and power (CHP) systems at facilities along the Berkakit-Tommot-Yakutsk railway.

The units will be installed to provide "round the clock reliable power for six railway junctions, two stations along the rail line and the track's switching and signaling at each juncture. In addition to electricity, the system will provide heat for each facility."

Again, these orders demonstrate the growing versatility of Capstone's products at a time when governments around the world are shifting to reliable sources of green energy production.

Darren Jamison, Capstone's President and Chief Executive Officer, recently returned from a trip to Russia, and here's evidence that he didn't return empty handed. While Capstone grows its global distribution network, it wouldn't be out of the question to expect some more orders from the Russian regions.

Profitability is the holy grail for which Capstone and its investors are searching for, and until then this company's share price will most likely continue to trade with turmoil and a high rate of volatility, but the spikes and dips could come at any time, considering the general market sentiment and sector hype on any given day.

These are trying times for the global economy, but Capstone is well positioned to take advantage of a global trend and play a large role in fueling the future.

Disclosure: Long CPST.