What's happening: Natural gas engine technology expert Westport Innovations (NASDAQ:WPRT) stock jumped more than 10% at one point today, before closing with almost a 9% gain on the day.
Why it's happening: So far this week, Westport has made a couple of positive announcements. Earlier, it announced that it was offering a propane version of the popular Ford F-150, to go along with its well-received compressed natural gas version. Today's announcement was potentially even bigger.
The company reported that it had reached a major milestone in development of its high-pressure, direct-injection -- or HPDI -- technology with Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes Benz, for heavy-duty engines for the company's commercial trucks. The release said: "The prototype HPDI engine met all technical targets resulting in a payment of 2.4 million euro (approximately $2.7 million USD) by Daimler to Westport. For competitive reasons, further terms of the program have not been disclosed."
This is big news, because so far, Westport has only identified a couple of other OEM partners for development of its technology for heavy-duty trucking. Learning that a big player like Daimler is working with Westport on this is definitely exciting.
That said, this is still a very early-development announcement, and the lack of additional information about a commercial launch or timeline makes it little more than just good news. Until multiple OEMs actually begin commercial development of HPDI with Westport -- and the company starts selling engines with the technology -- it remains pretty speculative.
In summary, it's good news this week, but not really anything that changes the story.
Jason Hall owns shares of Westport Innovations. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Westport Innovations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.