Gevo Stock Gains as First Wood Waste Jet Fuel Test Flight Nears

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gevo (GEVO) shares are up 16.47% to $3.95 on heavy volume in early market trading on Thursday after the renewable chemicals and biofuels company announced that patented wood waste derived jet fuel would be used in a first ever test flight.

The company currently makes isobutanol fuel from corn at its plant in Minnesota, but it has developed alternative processes that allow it to make the compound from the wood scraps left over from logging activities.

The jet fuel the company makes from the wood scraps will be used in a first of its kind 1,000 gallon renewable fuel demonstration test flight next year.

"There are significant economic and environmental benefits of renewable jet fuel, which makes it a great market for Gevo. This announcement demonstrates the flexibility of our technology and reinforces our technology leadership," said CEO Dr. Pat Gruber

The test flight is part of a partnership with the Department of Agriculture supported group Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), a five-year project consisting of 22 members with the stated goal of facilitating the development of remewable biojet and bioproduct industries in the Pacific Northwest using forest residuals that would otherwise become waste products.

"We're encouraged by Gevo's work with the NARA team in converting Pacific Northwest forest residual biomass into jet fuel, and look forward to working with them on this test flight and in the next phases of the commercialization of this technology," said Ralph Cavalieri, Director of NARA.

Gevo shares are climbing on three times its average daily trading volume so far today.

TheStreet Ratings team rates GEVO INC as a Sell with a ratings score of E+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GEVO INC (GEVO) a SELL. This is based on some significant below-par investment measures, which should drive this stock to significantly underperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for GEVO INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 1.37%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GEVO's net profit margin of -116.60% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • GEVO's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 73.63%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, GEVO INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.86, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.73 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 58.35% to -$6.38 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GEVO INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -53.17%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GEVO Ratings Report

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