"Renewable energy is, like, so hot."
Settle down, Paris. But you're right. Oil's relapse to sub-$60 per barrel notwithstanding, (non-oil company) investors, industry, and consumers are all mighty interested in finding non-hydrocarbon-based ways to fuel their vehicles and heat their buildings. Capitalizing on that trend is Energy Conversion Devices
The reason for the 8% bump in market cap can be found in the firm's fiscal Q1 2007 earnings report, released Thursday. Therein, we read that Q1 sales rose 17% in comparison with last year. Even better, the firm's losses as calculated under generally accepted accounting principles contracted from $0.21 per share a year ago to $0.06 per share. From a cash profits perspective, the news was perhaps better still: In contrast to last year's $6 million in negative cash from operations, the firm came within an ion's breadth of breaking even on cash flow in Q1 2007. Though, admittedly, rapidly mounting capital spending of $26.5 million this quarter knocked its free cash flow deep into the red.
And yet, as encouraging as the numbers were, it's the prose portion of Energy Conversion Devices' report that left this Fool most impressed -- specifically, the sections discussing the "Cobasys" joint venture with Chevron
Although the release didn't break down Cobasys' contribution to Energy Conversion Devices' increased revenue, the firm's 10-Q does provide details on this subject. Specifically, it shows that Cobasys nearly quintupled its revenues year over year, to $3.4 million in Q1. Returning to the earnings release, we're led to believe that much of the new revenues are coming from General Motors
The 8% boost in the stock price suggests Mr. Market likes the sound of it, too.
For more details on General Motors' hybrid foray, which may shed light on the potential profits in store for Energy Conversion Devices, read:
Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above.