Nat Gas May Get Its Big Chance

 | Apr 16, 2012 | 2:00 PM EDT
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Could there be a manufacturing renaissance brewing in this country? That's what Sam Thomas, the CEO of Chart Industries (GTLS) is talking about. That's the company that makes all of the equipment you need to make liquefied natural gas, and his business and his backlog are so strong that he's begging for workers to come to join his company.

The renaissance has everything to do with our remarkable difference in price for natural gas compared with the rest of the world and particularly the rest of the world's diesel fuel. The difference, 50 to 1 in terms of price, just makes natural gas too compelling, particularly when it comes to the long-haul truckers and their customers who are under heavy pressure to go green and save money.

Chart's biggest business is in China, which is furiously trying to switch to natural gas because of the toxic effects of coal.

But China will need our natural gas to pull it off. Thomas is convinced that we will build more plants to export natural gas because of this shortage worldwide while our natural gas is cheap.. That will get tested this week when Cheniere Energy (LNG) looks for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to complete regulatory review for its Louisiana export terminal.

Thomas is also watching for what could be a dramatic build-out of natural-gas stations far in excess of what Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) will be able to put up.

If a major refining and retailing operation of a major oil company does decide to emphasize natural gas and put up pumps, that will be the biggest win for Chart.

The stock is very expensive, but the total addressable market is huge, and I think that the stock should be bought on any weakness.


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