Raser Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:RZ) reported no revenue for the first quarter of 2009. But it also reported no cost of sales. The company’s total loss was $6.67 million, EPS of -$0.10. That’s better than the analysts had expected, pegging EPS at -$0.12. However, analysts did forecast $260,000 in revenue and got nothing.
Raser designs, builds, and operates geothermal electricity generation plants, and has just opened a 14-megawatt plant near Anaheim, California, and expects to recognize revenue from operations there in the current quarter. The company has also developed a demonstration plug-in hybrid version of a Hummer H3 that gets 100 miles per gallon of gasoline.
There is certainly potential in geothermal, proven by the performance of Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:ORA). In the first quarter of 2009, Ormat reported EPS of $0.32, up from $0.24 EPS a year ago and well above average estimates of $0.25. Revenues reached $99.9 million, up 44% from $69.4 million a year ago.
Ormat’s electricity sales were up 5.2% on an increase in megawatt-hours sold of 21.5%. The company attributed the disparity to a decline in rates at the one of its plants that is “sensitive to oil prices.”
Geothermal energy gets no love, but it is really cheap to build and operate. Only a little more than 10% of US available geothermal resources have been utilized so far, so there is plenty of room for growth.
Raser shares are off more than 5% in early trading this morning. Ormat shares are down about 2%. Both companies are thinly traded, but geothermal energy could get a boost from the federal economic stimulus package, which contains about $400 million for geothermal development.
There is also the much smaller US Geothermal Inc. (AMEX: HTM) in the sector with some operations in Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada. Unfortunately, this one has gone quiet as a church mouse.
May 12, 2009