Why Shares of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. Popped Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of natural gas fuel provider Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE  ) jumped 11% today after the company reported earnings.

So what: First-quarter gallons delivered rise 24% from a year ago to 59.3 million gallons and revenue was up slightly to $95.3 million, hurt by last year's comparison that included $26.2 million in volumetric excise tax credit. The absence of the tax credit also resulted in a loss of $28.6 million, or $0.30 per share, which was exactly in line with estimates.  

Now what: Clean Energy Fuels needs growth to be profitable and with revenue and gallons delivered higher than expected, investors got excited today. Management also indicated that there's momentum on the heavy-duty trucking side of the business, which is where the real upside is in natural gas fuel. This earnings report was a positive sign that growth is continuing, but I'm taking a cautious approach because of the loss and will sit out the move today.

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