Underdog Finds its Way to Profits

I’d like you to know about a great American success story. This small company has experienced lots of operational turmoil but has finally found its stride and is now doing great.

I wrote about this company three times last year and once in early February this year. I’ve watched this company for quite some time, and I am really impressed how it has recovered. This stock was once very high-priced, and then the whole business almost fell apart. Only now is the company in solid recovery mode.

The company I’m referring to is Amerigon, Incorporated. (NASDAQ/ARGN). Based in Dearborn, Michigan, Amerigon sells its proprietary “Climate Control Seat” (CCS) product to automotive and truck original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The company’s CCS product is designed to provide cooling and heating to seat occupants through an active thermoelectric-based temperature management system. The company is also developing more efficient thermoelectric devices (TED) with twice the efficiency of current equipment.

My father has this system in his car. While he admits that it’s a luxury, he wouldn’t be without it now.

In the first quarter this year, Amerigon’s revenues grew 56% to $16.3 million. Earnings before income taxes in the first quarter were $2.2 million, as compared with $1.2 million. Net income was $1.3 million, or $0.06 per basic and diluted share, compared with net income of $768,000, or $0.04 per basic and $0.03 per diluted share, generated in the comparable quarter.

The company finished the first quarter with cash and short-term investments of $18.4 million and zero bank debt.

Some of the vehicles now selling Amerigon’s CCS system are the Cadillac “Escalade,” the Land Rover “Range Rover,” Lincoln “MKX,” Lincoln “Navigator,” Ford “Expedition,” and Lexus “LS 460.”

Looking at all of 2007, the company expects to generate revenue growth between 15% and 20% and predicts a significant increase in profitability.

Amerigon is still considered a micro-cap company, but its turnaround is very impressive. This company was almost close to death twice. Now, it finally looks as though it’s found its way. Well done!