As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to look back at what happened to the stocks that interest you. By making sure you know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.
Today, let's take a look at Westport Innovations (Nasdaq: WPRT ) . The company is in the forefront of alternative energy because of its natural-gas burning engines, which produce reduced emissions and herald the possible future of increased use of natural gas over diesel and gasoline engines. That has a lot of investors interested in the future of this innovative company.
Stats on Westport
|Year-to-Date Stock Return||55.1%|
|Market Cap||$1.42 billion|
|Revenue, Trailing 12 Months||$207.7 million|
|1-Year Revenue Growth||44%|
|1-Year Profit Growth||NM (loss of $60.5 million over past 12 months)|
|CAPS Rating (out of 5)||*****|
Source: S&P Capital IQ. NM = not meaningful.
What happened to Westport this year?
Westport is a small company, but it's made a lot of progress this year. The company has had a long-standing partnership with engine giant Cummins (NYSE: CMI ) , and that relationship has borne fruit recently, with revenues for the joint venture rising almost 60% in the most recent quarter.
But Westport has seen some exciting new initiatives take root this year. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) made an agreement with Westport to incorporate Westport technology into large heavy-duty engines. Meanwhile, General Motors (NYSE: GM ) wants Westport to help design engines for lighter-duty vehicles, while Ford (NYSE: F ) is working with Westport on a gasoline/natural-gas bi-fuel truck.
Also, the company joined up with Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A ) to form a co-marketing program. Combined with natural-gas fueling stations at Shell's Flying J truck stops, Westport and Shell could create an integrated natural-gas solution for truckers that could potentially rival the efforts of Clean Energy Fuels (Nasdaq: CLNE ) .
The biggest problem for Westport is that its losses have continued to widen. But shareholders are still optimistic, and with the huge interest in natural gas -- especially in the U.S. -- Westport appears to have a strong position to capitalize on whatever the future brings. With oil prices still near triple digits, natural gas looks like a smart alternative.
Westport isn't the only stock that could benefit from high oil prices, though. Learn more about three other stocks that will prosper from $100 oil in the Motley Fool's latest special free report on energy. It's yours free, but only for a limited time, so take a look today.
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