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: Capstone Turbine (CPST -0.56%) investors must be a happy lot. After ending 2013 in style, the microturbine maker had a blockbuster opening to 2014, with shares surging 23% in January. So what's fueling the optimism, and will the momentum keep building?
So what: Capstone investors weren't excited for nothing last month. The company bagged order after order from across the globe, with the intent that some might even have the potential to change its fortunes.
Capstone's first order for 2014 flew in from Russia's modular power stations for installation of turbines, some of which can run on flared (waste) natural gas. With the country facing a daunting task to reduce flare gas emissions following flak from environmentalists around the world, Capstone's order is no small potatoes.
The second week of January was equally eventful, with Capstone shares gaining a whopping 17% following multiple orders from existing and new customers operating in the Marcellus and Utica shales in the U.S. Capstone has already built a solid foundation in the lucrative oil and gas sector, shipping half of its total units currently sold to the sector. The fresh orders indicate growing demand for Capstone's turbines, which is great news.
The craziness didn't end there. Capstone shares popped 10% on Jan. 17 after the company received orders from oil and gas companies operating in the hot-spot Permian Basin.
Now what: So far, so good. But Capstone still attracts traders in hordes, so despite a promising future, its shares can't escape the volatility. If orders fired up the stock, there were days in January when shares fell without reason. Clearly, some were too eager to take profits off the table, which worried investors.
But why should a long-term investor even be watching the stock's day-to-day movements? For those who believe in Capstone's story, January offered another reason to hang on to the stock.
With the company's earnings report just around the corner, investors can't help but be excited. Capstone's last quarter was a super hit, with revenue surging 17% and losses narrowing 42% year over year. The highlight was its gross margin, which expanded a solid five percentage points to 9%, suggesting cost efficiency. And with the order book swelling, Capstone's backlog value grew 6% year over year.
Don't expect Capstone to turn a profit when it reports next week, as that may still take some more quarters to happen. But if its revenue and margins keep trending higher, you shouldn't complain. Capstone's multi-fuel turbines are certainly becoming popular and reaching more and more niches. With energy saving and emission reduction gaining greater significance than ever, Capstone has a good chance of making it big. Just be patient, and watch.