Recently, I had the privilege of test-driving a new Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) electric sports car.
Growing up in the gearhead culture of Pittsburgh, I wasn't expecting to be impressed. My uncle's business sponsored a drag-racing team, and I spent many Sunday afternoons watching from the sidelines as an elementary school student. If you know anything about drag racing, you know the vehicles are fast, loud and extremely powerful.
|It made every other car I had ever experienced seem like relics of the past. A giant iPad-like screen takes center stage with every needed metric and information being displayed in a clear, faultless fashion.|
This experience cemented in my mind the notion that if a car wasn't loud, it couldn't be powerful. Combine this experience with being a bit of a car nut myself, and there was no way that Tesla founder Elon Musk's cars -- with their relatively tiny engines and massive hype -- were going to impress me.
Man, was I wrong.
From the second I sat in the driver's seat, all my negative thoughts went out the window. The experience was mind-blowing. It was like sitting in the ideal environment, if a little sparse on the comfort side. It made every other car I had ever experienced seem like relics of the past. A giant iPad-like screen takes center stage with every needed metric and information being displayed in a clear, faultless fashion. Talk about the cool factor.
Needless to say, the performance was pure perfection. Acceleration, braking, cornering and just simple driving was better than anything I'd experienced. This completely changed my perception of what makes a car great.
Clearly, investors agree, sending Tesla shares on a parabolic curve higher by nearly 600% this year alone.
My experience with the Tesla drove home one of the investment theses in StreetAuthority's special report, "The 11 Most Shocking Investment Predictions Of 2014," about the "death of the gasoline engine." It's no longer science fiction. Technology that is superior in multiple ways to gasoline engines -- cleaner, better and more efficient -- exists now. The revolution has begun, and it's only a matter of time until the gasoline automobile engine, as we know it, becomes a thing of the past.
Tesla has rewarded investors handsomely, but despite the great product, many investors believe the stock is currently overvalued. Fortunately, Tesla's electric technology isn't the only practical alternative to the gasoline engine.
Another top company in the alternative-to-gasoline space is Fuel Systems Solutions (Nasdaq: FSYS).
Fuel Systems specializes in components and system controls that manage the pressure of fuels such as propane and natural gas. Launched in 1958, the New York-based company is far from a startup. It boasts a $400 million plus market cap, a price-to-sales ratio of 1.0 and a price-to-book ratio of 1.3.
Nearly 30% of the more than 20 million outstanding shares are held by insiders, with another more than 45% in institutional coffers. Second-quarter earnings per share rose more than 18%, to $0.13, from the same period last year, beating expectations. Revenue also rose nearly 2%, to more than $111 million.
IMPCO is the subsidiary of Fuel Systems Solutions that focuses on the automobile engine sector. It just obtained the first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification for a 2014 bi-fuel sedan with the Chevy Cruze. Its compressed natural gas (CNG) system is the only EPA-approved bi-fuel system for 2014 U.S. vehicles.
Shares have been in a steady uptrend since April 22 but have hit solid resistance at $21. There is a double-top formation in the $21 area, but solid support is evident at the 50-day simple moving average just above $19.
Risks to Consider: Although a major change is underway in the automobile alternative fuel business, it may take quite some time to fully blossom. Companies in this sector may be volatile in the short term, but patient long-term investors in carefully chosen companies will profit from the shift. Always use stops and position size properly when investing.
Action to Take --> I like Fuel Systems on a breakout close above $21 with an 18-month target of $32. Initial stops should be set directly below the 50-day simple moving average at $18.