Why Capstone Turbine Hasn't Powered Up This Year

As we approach the halfway point for 2012, now's a good time to look back at what's happening with the stocks that interest you. By making sure you know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.

Today, let's take a look at Capstone Turbine (NAS: CPST) . The company has worked hard to advance its microturbine electricity generators, but it's been slow going for Capstone to turn its promise into cold, hard cash. Let's take a quick look at how Capstone is doing so far this year.

Stats on Capstone Turbine

2012 YTD Return


Market Cap

$308 million

Total Revenue, Most Recent Quarter

$30.1 million

Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth, Most Recent Quarter


Net Loss, Most Recent Quarter

($8.3 million)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)


Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Why is Capstone Turbine losing in 2012?
Capstone ended 2011 on an up note, as it announced a marginally profitable fiscal second quarter. But so far in 2012, both of its earnings announcements have been less favorable as the company has returned to posting substantial losses.

The biggest potential customers for Capstone are oil and gas drillers seeking available power at remote drilling locations. The company has already gotten huge orders from a company in the Eagle Ford area, and although Capstone hasn't identified the customer, both Chesapeake Energy (NYS: CHK) and EOG Resources (NYS: EOG) have a major presence there. Capstone also points to success in the Marcellus shale as well as in Africa and Russia.

The problem, though, is that Chesapeake and peers Encana (NYS: ECA) and Southwestern Energy (NYS: SWN) have taken steps to cut back on production levels. That in turn might reduce any demand for Capstone's products until natural gas prices start to rise.

With consecutive losses and falling cash balances on its balance sheet, Capstone Turbine hasn't lived up to its potential so far in 2012. For the company to reverse course and post some gains in the second half of the year, Capstone really needs to focus on the energy industry to build up a stable customer base and finally get itself profitable once and for all. Capstone will need some help from the natural gas market, but if things work out, then the stock could be well above $1 per share in the near future.

Still, Capstone doesn't look like ideal energy play right now. We've got another stock you should look at more closely. Read about it right here in The Motley Fool's special free report on the energy industry and its best prospects.

Click hereto add Capstone Turbine to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. The Fool owns shares of Chesapeake Energy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chesapeake Energy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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