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  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    I haven't heard anyone dispute that CNG is rapidly being adopted as a fuel for trucks. This article confirms that. However, it doesn't tell us much about LNG as a fuel. Dillion Transport concentrates within the "Texas Triangle" of Houston, Dallas and Austin/San Antonio; within this region, rapid fill CNG is accessible and inexpensive because of proximity to high pressure natural gas pipelines. Also, as mentioned in the article, their typical length of haul is less than 550 miles, at the outside edge of effective CNG range. Because this carrier operates within one state, Texas, and because this state allows longer trailer lengths than virtually any other state (59' as opposed to 48' to 53' in most other states), the extra size of CNG tanks is less of a factor. Finally, I don't find the ROI estimates to be conclusive; CNG is better established and more competitive, so LNG trucks are of course more expensive at this time.
    Aug 22 12:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    Interesting information, movin', and maybe the most relevant of anything I've seen you post. I agree that a company that does not treat its employees well is a company that should be suspected of bad business acumen. Even taking it with a small grain of salt because employees who get fired often have a negative perspective, it is troublesome to hear.

    I think your point that other companies have vapor recovery units is interesting because it confirms a point I make in the article: that it is quite feasible to reduce methane emissions with a little bit of effort. Nevertheless, it is disheartening if true that CLNE is venting directly into the atmosphere. I disagree, however, that it poses any obstacles to CLNE's future prospects; if they were required to do it by government or customers, I'm sure they could do it as easily as anyone else.

    Finally, this relates to another point about CLNE that I haven't made before, but have been thinking has some relevance. That is that while CLNE has over a quarter billion of cash on hand -- enough to last more than two years at their current burn rate -- they are a company that is feeling some financial stress. I suspect this is why you and others have observed that their prices are somewhat higher in business segments that are marginal to them. It may also be an underlying factor if they are not treating certain employees well or not practicing the highest environmental standards. This is not to excuse this type of behavior -- it is inexcusable -- but to offer a possible explanation.
    Aug 21 07:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    I would point out that Upside has also changed his position about LNG fueled Class 8 trucks. Now he says "LNG is going to be a tiny fraction of the overall natural gas use in trucking", but in comments as recent as June 2 he says "A recent Navigant Research report forecasts North American sales of natural gas trucks and buses to grow from 10,444 units in 2014 to 36,669 units in 2022." ( This shows once again that he will say anything to try to defend his misinformed opinions.
    Aug 20 12:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    This is the kind of post that angers me, because it is dishonest and deceitful. I hate to think that a small time investor might come to SA for thoughtful and useful information, but instead find slanted, distorted information like this.

    Upside says he "exposed" a "misrepresentation" by CLNE CEO Andrew Littlefair, but he did nothing of the kind. He quotes a truthful statement, then tries to make readers think that there is something wrong with it. There is nothing wrong or inaccurate with what Mr. Littlefair said.

    At the time of the quote, CLNE had 96 stations open for heavy duty trucks, far more than any other company. Heavy duty trucks has a very specific meaning that is defined by the Federal Highway Administration ( Heavy duty trucks include Class 7 trucks (e.g., garbage trucks) and Class 8 trucks (e.g., long haul tractor-trailers). About 40% of all garbage trucks nationally now use natural gas, and other Class 7 trucks like cement mixers are starting to convert. Class 8 trucks using natural gas just started hitting the highway in the last year. CLNE is the leading retailer of natural gas fuel for heavy duty trucks.

    Upside is trying make a bear case by not disclosing the above information and, instead, trying to make people think that a fueling station designed to put CNG in a garbage truck somehow should not be counted as a heavy duty truck station. Upside is wrong and dishonest.
    Aug 20 12:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    Another indication that the adoption rate of natural gas as a vehicle fuel is starting to escalate:
    Aug 20 12:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]

    First, I'm glad you don't dispute the point I made that Upside lied in his article and his comment about the meaning of the government data. The main premise of his bearish arguments -- that CLNE is overstating the number of LNG stations it has that are accessible by Class 8 trucks -- is false. We agree on that.

    Now, you're arguing the opposite of Upside: that CLNE is understating the number of LNG stations that it has. This is also easily refuted: the government database has not been updated for recently opened stations. If you look at the website, you will see that the stations CLNE has announced that it has just opened have not made it to this map yet. Furthermore, and obviously, this map only shows open stations -- the ANGH stations that have not yet been opened are not on it. Surely you're not going to suggest that these are imaginary, too?

    Movin': unlike Upside, my experience with you is that you at least have tried to be factual. The facts you site are often irrelevant, but at least you don't seem to lie. Now that one of the main bear spokesmen has been thoroughly debunked, I hope you're not going to take leave of reality and start trying to claim that CLNE is misrepresenting the number of stations it operates.
    Aug 18 09:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Things To Get Worse For Portfolio Recovery Associates [View article]
    My point is that you cannot conclude "things are going to get worse" based on the information presented in this article. I am not looking at gross collections only, I am pointing out that gross collections also have to be taken into account.

    The fact is that PRAA's gross profit has increased each of the last four quarters. I don't follow PRAA closely enough to know how good an investment it is, but I know business and I know that profit is what matters not collection percentages. This is like the classic business school case study where they tell you that your most expensive piece of equipment is now only 50% utilized and it used to be 90% utilized -- is the business failing? The answer: you can't tell from this statistic. It may be a good thing that the machine is less utilized because it could be the key to removing bottlenecks in your whole production schedule. Similarly, paying more for debt may be a good thing for PRAA: it means their processes are growing more efficient and they can profit on slimmer margins than previously -- in other words, they used to only take on fat margin debt portfolios, but now they're so good they also can take on skinny margin portfolios.
    Aug 17 11:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Things To Get Worse For Portfolio Recovery Associates [View article]
    I don't agree. Suppose you had three portfolios of debt that you had the option to purchase. The first cost $1 million and would make you $500,000 profit. The second cost $1 million and would make you $400,000 profit. The third cost $1 million and would make you $250,000 profit. Which should you purchase: the first only or all three? I say you should purchase all three. If you purchased only the first, your collections/purchase price would be much better, but if you purchased all three, your profits would be maximized. The author and the comment from Notatrader would have you believe that a dropping collections/purchase ratio means the company is worth less. I believe rising profit means the company is worth more.
    Aug 17 08:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IPG Photonics: Double-Digit Growth On High Tech Lasers [View article]
    Good article and I am also fully weighted in IPGP. I think it is relevant to also point out in addition to the PEG ratio that IPGP's p/e is currently 22.6, which is pretty modest for a company with growing earnings. A prudent investor should also investigate IPGP's products; they have several existing products and new products in the pipeline that have the potential to dominate their competition.
    Aug 15 09:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    Once again, nonsense. The database referenced defines "HD" as both Class 7 and Class 8 trucks. So those following the suggested exercise will find fueling stations designed for trash haulers and other Class 7 trucks that are obviously not going to be appropriate for Class 8 trucks (which are the primary target of CLNE's LNG stations). The same website has a map of LNG stations which, as near as I can tell, exactly matches what CLNE has been reporting: 57 total LNG stations now operational in the U.S. It is not the case that only Upside is telling the truth while CLNE and Westport and others are all lying; the opposite is reality.

    Despite the efforts of some to confuse investors with misinformation, CLNE has steadfastly and honestly reported exactly which stations they have opened. I hope nobody is fooled by people like Upside.
    Aug 14 09:20 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    Thanks, Baldw. I stand corrected; I do not own Westport and don't follow them closely.
    Aug 13 10:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]

    I provided a balanced analysis of the bear and bull positions. In contrast, your articles are biased fluff that demonstrate no understanding of finance or the natural gas business. You apparently don't even care whether what you say is truthful, so long as it supports your bear perspective. This post is an excellent example.

    I don't "reflect the refinancing of debt in my cash-flow tables". If you understood basic finance, you would know that cash-flow tables generally don't reflect refinancing because it doesn't matter who the debt is paid to.

    My "'plausible' (NOT) scenario doesn't begin to provide cash-flow to cover repayment." A flat out lie. First, refinancing is cash flow neutral, so there is no impact. Second, this scenario explicitly demonstrates that CLNE will never fall below $200 million allowing repayment of the debt if necessary.

    "Blu is expanding nationwide." Blu has scaled back their plans and is far behind CLNE:

    "Westport continues to bet big that LNG will dominate, hoping against all hope that somehow their uncompetitive "iCE PACK" truck storage system will provide much of [sic] any revenues." More untruths. Westport's main financial engine is selling natural gas engines; it does not matter to them whether the engines that run on their technology burn CNG or LNG because the engines are identical in either case (only the storage differs). If Westport is trying to sell LNG storage devices it is because they perceive demand, not because they are "hoping against all hope." You are spouting total nonsense.

    As for your "pro" article, comments thoroughly dismissed your mislabeled photos. It was you that were soundly debunked, not CLNE.

    I find agenda-driven, deliberately untruthful nonsense like you write to be revolting.
    Aug 12 09:23 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    Thanks, Robert!
    Aug 12 01:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]

    I am looking for objective analysis. It is just stupid to imply that I'm trying to promote CLNE because I own it; if I did analysis and concluded that it wasn't a good stock, I'd sell it -- not write articles to try to fool people.

    I have been very straight in saying that CLNE might survive as only a purveyor of CNG, but it will thrive big time if the trucking industry uses LNG in significant numbers. I have also been straight in saying that we aren't going to know for at least three more months, probably six more months and possibly longer than that how many LNG tractors are being put on the road.

    The article you linked is an interesting one, but I don't think it hangs together logically. On the one hand, they project only 11,000 LNG trucks will be sold in the next six years. On the other hand, they acknowledge that they are making this projection based on incomplete information for 2013 (when trucks were starting to be manufactured in the last few months of the year, but none had yet been on the road), including that UPS ordered 900 LNG trucks in 2013. They also say that the only competitors to CLNE are Blu and, potentially, Shell. They say Shell has contracted for the development of 20 new LNG fueling stations for trucks and plans to eventually have 100 stations, but do not seem to think this contradicts their estimate that there will only be 11,000 LNG trucks in the next six years. But, they say, Westport-Cummins decision to delay introduction of a 15-liter engine is a definite sign that LNG truck sales aren't going anywhere (the link they provide to support this assertion doesn't lead to any information about this).

    Meanwhile, other sources continue to point to good sales of LNG trucks. As previously noted, Andrew Littlefair in the last quarterly conference call specifically stated that it appeared to him that LNG/CNG sales were about 50%/50%. CLNE has also opened a number of LNG fueling stations and state that they do not open stations until there are at least 20 trucks committed to fueling there. Westport CEO David Demers reported that sales were strong for their iCE PACK system, the LNG tanks they sell.

    So, we will need to wait and see to find out the adoption rate for LNG trucks. We're all reading tea leaves, but my analysis strongly suggests there will be about 5,000 LNG trucks on the road by the end of this year and more speculatively assumes that these numbers will grow exponentially in the coming years.
    Aug 12 11:01 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: The Battle Of Bears Versus Bulls [View article]
    Good points, Tony.
    Aug 12 08:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment