Pollution Control Industry Faring Well

Let me be perfectly clear, I love pollution. Just kidding, what I meant to say was I love the pollution control business. In any market or any business cycle, there are great investment opportunities to be had.

There are very few certainties in this world, but one is that people will continue to demand more and more energy and in order to create this energy, pollution will result. Advanced technology is moving ahead by leaps and bounds, particularly as it relates to clean energy production, but the fact is, we have a long way to go before we create zero emission energy.

Right now, a company that’s doing very well is Fuel-Tech N.V. We’ve talked about this company before, but it recently reported excellent financial growth and the stock is really hot.

Still very small, the company reported fourth quarter revenues of $16.3 million, representing growth of 110% from revenues of $7.8 million generated in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $2.6 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, as compared to $1.4 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Revenues for all of 2005 grew to $52.9 million, representing growth of 72% from revenues of $30.8 million in 2004.

Net income for the year was $7.6 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, compared to $1.6 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, in 2004.

Fuel-Tech N.V. was founded in 1987 in the Netherlands, and maintains a U.S. head office in Stamford, Connecticut. The company develops technologies specifically for air pollution control and the reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx). Its proprietary NOx reduction technologies helps to significantly reduce emissions from boilers, incinerators, furnaces, and other stationary combustion sources.

Just in 2005, the company’s initial foray into China resulted in two new contracts totaling $15.3 million. If you didn’t already know, China is the world’s largest coal consuming country, and politicians there are just now getting serious about pollution control.

The management team at Fuel-Tech N.V. must be walking around with dollar signs in their eyes. From what I can tell, this company is going to be a success for quite a long time. Right now, the cycle is right for the pollution control business. It isn’t sexy, but it is a big-time growth industry.