Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Amyris, Gevo, and Aemetis Stocks Popped Wednesday

By Rich Smith - May 27, 2021 at 6:52AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

One of these things is (no longer) like the others.

What happened

Shares of Amyris (AMRS 22.11%), Gevo (GEVO -0.92%), and Aemetis (AMTX 9.23%) rocketed higher on Wednesday, closing the day up 7.3%, 9.1%, and 11.2%, respectively. In two of these cases, this reaction was understandable.

But in one case, it may have been a mistake.

Test tubes with liquid in them in front of a cob of corn.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Historically, all three of Amyris, Gevo, and Aemetis have been known as "biofuel" stocks. That made them all logical beneficiaries of an announcement on Tuesday that Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) had jointly introduced a bipartisan Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021 to the Senate. If passed, the bill will extend the current federal biodiesel tax credit program -- worth $1 per gallon of biodiesel produced -- through 2025.    

There's just one problem: While a cursory Google search for "biodiesel stocks" features all three of these stock names prominently, in fact, Amyris largely exited the biofuels market years ago, and currently spends most of its time developing biotech products for the clean health and beauty markets.

Now what

Even in the two cases where today's run-ups are more justified -- Gevo and Aemetis, both of which are still in the biofuels game -- caution may be in order. For one thing, the extension of tax credits for biofuels, while supported by influential legislators in the Senate, is not sure to pass.

For another, even with tax credits for biofuels in place, neither Gevo nor Aemetis has yet figured out a way to consistently profit from selling the stuff. Over the past decade, Aemetis has booked a full-year GAAP profit only once (in 2014), and Gevo -- not at all. To the contrary; according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, over the last three years, both companies' losses have actually increased.

Maybe the protection of a "green"-friendly administration in the White House, and the help of an extension of the tax credit, will change that -- but don't be too surprised if it doesn't.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Amyris, Inc. Stock Quote
Amyris, Inc.
AMRS
$2.32 (22.11%) $0.42
Gevo, Inc. Stock Quote
Gevo, Inc.
GEVO
$3.23 (-0.92%) $0.03
Aemetis, Inc. Stock Quote
Aemetis, Inc.
AMTX
$11.12 (9.23%) $0.94

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
377%
 
S&P 500 Returns
123%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/09/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.