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Smith Electric - The Next Solyndra

Another consideration is that the company is dependent on a limited number of customers such as Frito-Lay, FedEx (FDX - Get Report) and Fresh Direct.

Unfortunately for these customers, if something goes wrong with the truck, a technician has to be sent from the home office in Kansas City. Imagine if you are considering buying a fleet of these trucks and your repairman is two plane trips away? Smith signed a lease for a new facility in New York in August, but has no plans for any other facilities at this time.

The competition is fierce, bigger and more capitalized. Ford (F - Get Report)., Isuzu and Volvo all have competing electric trucks. Ford is also a supplier to Smith, providing the transit vehicles on which the platform is based.

SmithEurope and some of its previous entities have existed since 1920; however the company's senior management team has only been there since this past June. Smith defining itself as an "emerging growth" company under the JOBs Act (Jumpstart Our Businesses). That means the company will be exempt from Sarbanes-Oxley and can delay adopting certain accounting rules.

Considering the DOE already had issues with Smith's accounting, investors have to be concerned about this. The company itself seems to be feeling the heat. Earlier this month, Smith reportedly lowered its expectations for the IPO. It's now said to be seeking just $76 million, down from an original goal of $125 million when it first filed to go public in November 2011.

The company, whose stock is expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "SMTH," is said to be looking to sell 4.22 million shares at $16-$18 each. In the related amended S-1 filing, Smith also disclosed it had only produced 79 vehicles through June 30 and said it now anticipates total production of 380 vehicles in 2012, down from its original goal.

What's more, it's aiming to produce 60% of those vehicles in the fourth quarter. That's what they call a tall order, and investors may want to wait and see if they can pull it off before ponying up.

--Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Debra Borchardt.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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