Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly characterized Capstone Turbine's relationship with United Technologies and its subsidiaries. The Fool regrets the error.
Less than nine years ago, shares of Capstone Turbine
In its most recent quarter, Capstone's sales grew by 83% to $13.7 million, due largely to higher prices for its products, while total operating expenses fell significantly due to reductions in research and development and general overhead. Until taking a hit for changes in the fair value of its warrant liability, Capstone had everything in place for a good quarter. However, after the $5.2 million charge, net losses landed at $15.3 million, or $0.08 per share, missing analysts' estimates by $0.03 per share.
Despite the charge, it was an eventful quarter for Capstone, and it marks the start of what could be a historic year for the clean energy corporation that has never earned a profit since it became a publicly listed company. CEO Darren Jamison declared: "I believe fiscal 2009 was best described as Capstone's year of growth, while I believe fiscal 2010 will best be described as Capstone's year of cost reduction, working capital improvement, and positive cash flow."
These words are nothing trivial to anyone familiar with the Capstone story. The year has seen Capstone successfully complete a development and commercialization program for its C200 product with UTC Power and Carrier, both of which are subsidiaries of United Technologies
Politics or profit
Jamison's words might be rhetoric aimed at rekindling downtrodden investors' hope in the company's future, but I believe they hold merit. Capstone's overall backlog has only decreased by 6% in the past three months to about 67.4 megawatts, which means that while the weak economy is dragging down spending across the board, Capstone's products continue to get support from its customers.
Meanwhile, over the next three quarters, management is confident in its plans to increase its average selling prices, as its price hike of 14% on its C1000 model fully takes effect. Furthermore, the company will take action to achieve 30% cost reduction. All of this is obviously very exciting news for Capstone.
And like other alternative energy investments like First Solar