FutureFuel Earnings: An Early Look

Earnings season is winding down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and FutureFuel (NYSE: FF  ) is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarter reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

FutureFuel is one of many companies seeking to develop economically viable biofuels. That's been a tough problem to crack, but with a variety of different products encompassing both biofuel and specialty chemicals, FutureFuel hopes to come up with successful commercial applications to serve multiple industries. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with FutureFuel over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Monday.

Stats on FutureFuel

Analyst EPS Estimate

$0.19

Change From Year-Ago EPS

(27%)

Revenue Estimate

$82.2 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

(5.1%)

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

3

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will FutureFuel fuel investor profits this quarter?
Analysts have reduced their calls on FutureFuel over the past few months, reducing their earnings-per-share figure for the just-ended quarter by a penny and cutting 2013 estimates by $0.08. The stock, though, has done well, rising more than 17% since mid-December.

Over the years, alternative fuels have drawn a lot of excitement from investors seeking to take advantage of high oil and gasoline prices. Yet the traditional ethanol industry has suffered from rising crop prices, with revenue growth having come to an abrupt halt at Green Plains Renewable Energy (NASDAQ: GPRE  ) during 2012 after seeing its sales jump nearly 20-fold from 2008 to 2011. Even well-established player Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM  ) has seen ethanol capacity utilization plunge as the drought last year has greatly reduced corn inventories.

Yet FutureFuel has the benefit of having two main businesses. In addition to its biodiesel business, it also produces custom chemicals for use in personal care products and detergents as well as herbicides. Solazyme (NASDAQ: SZYM  ) has tried to follow that same playbook by marketing its algae-based oils not just for energy but also personal care. FutureFuel, however, has consistently turned a profit for its efforts, with partnerships with consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble helping it keep its earnings up. Moreover, FutureFuel even pays a dividend, yielding more than 3%.

In its quarterly report, watch for FutureFuel to discuss its future plans to try to broaden its revenue base. For now, though, the company is doing a good job of making the most of its opportunity.

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Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2013, at 10:04 AM, EmFetch267 wrote:

    Solazyme "has tried"? You fools need to learn what a development stage company is. Instead you compare the new with the old. Future Fuels has roots from 1976 and manufacturing capability up for a long time...

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2013, at 10:13 AM, TheGrowingValue wrote:

    The best deal is GPRE. GPRE has the management that knows how to grow business fast. It proved that with 20-fold revenue growth in the past 5 years. And best of all, GPRE stock is extremely cheap. GPRE is currently trading below book value and trading at dirt cheap 0.1 price-to-sales ratio. GPRE has the potential to be a 10-bagger from the current stock price.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2013, at 12:27 PM, TheGrowingValue wrote:

    One word of caution to GPRE investors. New SEC filings showed that GPRE VP just sold 4,300 shares and CEO just sold 25,000 shares of GPRE stocks. GPRE CEO started to sell stocks constantly since February this year. This is not a good sign. So GPRE stock does present unknown risks despite its valuation. Best to keep it in the watch list and see what happens in the next earning report.

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