What: Shares of natural gas for transportation refueling leader Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) finished February 29 up more than 16%, on essentially no news.
So what: The only thing related to the company's business that happened today was oil prices rose again, while natural gas prices fell. Since part of the company's value proposition -- especially to new customers, or customers looking to increase their use of NG for transportation -- is that natural gas is a cheaper fuel than gasoline or diesel, this is a good thing.
However, investors should understand that a single day's move up or down won't really change much, and the company probably needs to see gasoline and diesel prices continue to rise from here in order to support the "cheaper price" part of the story. But at the same time, renewable natural gas is a fast-growing part of the company's business, highlighting the environmental benefits of the company's product, that goes above and beyond the price benefit.
In other words, there's more to the story than just fuel prices. Chances are, at least some of today's price jump could be a product of short-sellers exiting their holdings before earnings later this week on March 3. At last report, about 16% of the company's shares were sold short. That's down from late-2015 and earlier this year, but it's still a fairly significant amount of short interest.
Now what: Again, not really anything material to talk about, but that's going to change in a few days when earnings come out. For now, stand by, but be sure to tune in here for in-depth coverage of the company's earnings report, as well as the conference call with management that follows.
Jason Hall owns shares of Clean Energy Fuels. Jason Hall has the following options: long January 2017 $5 calls on Clean Energy Fuels and short January 2017 $5 puts on Clean Energy Fuels. The Motley Fool recommends Clean Energy Fuels. 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.