Fuel Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTEK)

CAPS Rating: 5 out of 5

The Company has two technology segments which provide advanced engineering solutions to meet the pollution control, efficiency improvement, and operational optimization needs of energy-related facilities worldwide.

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Player Avatar BSHumphreyII (83.58) Submitted: 10/2/2009 2:30:15 AM : Underperform Start Price: $10.56 FTEK Score: +104.10

I can't figure out what to make of this stock, which probably means I should keep my mouth stuff. Still, when I see a supposed 5-star stock with fundamentals as bad as this, I have to say something.

While the lack of debt is certainly a good thing, I simply can't figure out why you'd pay more than 3 times book value for a company with earnings this inconsistent. They're all over the place, and have been losing money for about a year now. Investment returns are also unreliable.

A lot of people like the clean coal business, but that looks too much to me like betting on politics, which is not something I'd want to screw around with. The free-market guys (like me) are leery of the incentives and regulations that make clean coal tech a rational investment for energy producers, and greenies don't like coal at all.

Bottom line: At this price, Fuel Tech is just too speculative for this market.

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Member Avatar Greenesthorn (< 20) Submitted: 1/28/2012 3:40:52 PM
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This 'greenie' has this stock for a socially-responsible energy investment; hopefully one that will realize gains eventually.

Member Avatar statsguy (83.55) Submitted: 12/11/2012 2:51:56 PM
Recs: 0

I'm completely with you about betting on politics- companies like this live or die by the regs. Where I differ is the assumption that we have anything like a free market. What we have now is a system where folks who create pollution don't pay for the externalities. There's no question these costs can be hard to estimate (how many folks are sickened and die because of sulphur dioxide, how many fisherman can't eat the fish they catch because of mercury from coal powered plants).

What I like to say to folks who differ with my premise is this: The cost for me to dispose of my trash is 0... if I dump it on your property. But wait you say, that's against the law. But what is a law? A regulation. Yes, we have regulations against me dumping my trash in public or your property (as we should). So I have to pay the cost of actually getting rid of it. Because of that, I do my best to minimize how much trash I produce. Coal plants will spew endlessly if they are not required to 'clean up their trash'. If there are laws in place, they'll use the free market to figure out what to do- switch fuels, contract with fueltek, etc.

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