hydrogen power meme

Friday Feedback: The “From Fuel Cells To Fusion” Edition

Welcome back to “The Greatest Show in Finance!”™ Great Ones!

Literally no one calls it that. You realize that, don’t you?

Hey, don’t spoil my fun!

Who am I?

What I'd miss keep Greatness flowing meme

Why, I’m your host, Mr. Great Stuff. And today, we’re answering your stock market maladies, your investing inquiries, your ravenous rants … all with a heapin’ helpin’ of sarcasm and all the fixin’s.

That’s right, it’s time for Friday Feedback!

You’re clearly too late to horn in on today’s action. But it’s not too late to throw your hat in the ring for next week’s edition!

Just email us at GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com, and we’ll do the rest.

And if you just want to rant at me, about me or the market — but you don’t want your comments published — let me know. I can be discrete. Otherwise, it’s all fair game!

I’m starting somewhere different than the usual Great Stuff inbox today. We’re raiding the Great Stuff Facebook page for a change:

OK, I understand why you like hydrogen as it’s clean and quite prevalent in the universe. I get it, I’m a Chemical Engineer. But hydrogen is not energy dense as fossil fuels or even natural gas. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is already being used by fleet vehicles.

We need a better infrastructure like Tesla is doing with charging stations. But hydrogen is hard to contain (being the smallest atom on the periodic table), even worse than helium.

Leave hydrogen and its isotopes to fusion reactors and REALLY make some power. And we are closer to sustained fusion than you might imagine. Several national laboratories are looking into this right now including ITER. Wm Osburn

Thanks for commenting on Facebook, Mr. Osburn! Sorry I’m late. Work was murder.

First things first. You are correct about hydrogen and fusion reactors. But of course you are! You’re a freaking chemical engineer. Kudos, my man!

Investments in Fusion Energy

However, I’d like to point out that while hydrogen is not as energy-dense as fossil fuels (which includes natural gas), that’s not really the point of using hydrogen.

In fact, the lack of energy density is why we need multiple green energy sources if we’re going to replace oil, coal and natural gas.

Those darn dead dinosaurs are just too jam-packed with delicious energy for our own good, after all. It’s like eating Sugar Smacks for breakfast. Sure, they taste good … but we all know we should probably eat Life or Wheaties instead.

One of the big reasons I like hydrogen is that, since we’ve been using hydrogen for various purposes for a while now, we already have some infrastructure in place to generate, transport and deliver hydrogen.

Furthermore, additional infrastructure is already being built out, fueled by the federal infrastructure spending bill that just passed. In fact, four states in the Rocky Mountains are coming together to plan a “hydrogen hub” to help increase hydrogen adoption.

And not to be flippant or dismissive, but we’ve already figured out how to deal with those tiny, little hydrogen atoms. What’s more, even if the hydrogen leaks, it’s not an ecological disaster like an oil or natural gas leak.

That said, thank you for bringing up fusion energy, Mr. Osburn!

This is an investment area that fascinates me. And as soon as I find a worthy company that’s publicly traded, I plan on doing a write-up on it ASAP. (Hint, hint, Great Ones! If you have any fusion investment targets you’re looking at, send them my way: GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com.)

In case y’all are unaware, there’ve been some amazing breakthroughs in fusion technology lately.

For instance, the Joint European Torus experiment just shattered fusion energy-generation records, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S. just had a major fusion energy-production breakthrough.

Nuclear Fusion Technology on the rise

Now, the running joke in fusion energy circles is that fusion energy is forever “just 30 years away.” But that joke is no more. Some 18 fusion energy firms have raised more than $2.4 billion in funding to create sustainable fusion reactors.

The bad news is that unless you’re a venture capitalist, you can’t invest in any of these companies right now.

The good news is that many of these companies expect to have operational fusion reactors by the 2030s. That means we could potentially have fusion reactors in about 10 to 15 years.

Ironically, hydrogen is the main fuel used in fusion reactors.

Unironically, fusion reactors will likely spur even greater adoption of hydrogen energy due to greater hydrogen production. But don’t worry: Since there’s just so much hydrogen literally everywhere, the rise of fusion reactors likely won’t impact hydrogen demand for other applications, such as hydrogen fuel cells.

Mr. Osburn, you sly dog … you had me monologuing! Thanks again for writing in!

Suffice it to say that, from fuel cells to fusion, hydrogen is the future of the energy market. And until we have a bona fide fusion energy-generating stock to buy into … here’s what else is happening in the brave new world of future fuels:

Over the next decade, THIS could usher in a $51 trillion energy revolution that will change everything

How you power your home, your gadgets, your workplace…

It’ll all go from night to day — like flicking on a switch.

This 20,300% market surge is only beginning … and you can buy in right away.

Click here for the full story.

Reader Feedback
All right! Now that I’ve got that hydrogen proselytizing outta my system, let’s see what else is in the ol’ Great Stuff mailbag this week.

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And now, on with the show:

Hello folks stuffed with greatness,

Great Stuff remains to be the most entertaining, informative and guiding newsletter for me…and those adjectives have been ordered randomly. Thank you for all the laughs.

I was curious about the great stuff take on the recent ALB earnings.

Best and thanks for all that great stuff,

— Aashish

Thank you so much for the kind words, Aashish!

With everything that’s gone down in the past two to three years, I figure we can all use a good laugh now and then.

Helps break the tension of investing in the market right now … and boy, do we need a tension breaker.

Unfortunately, Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) hasn’t been quite the break from the norm I hoped it would be. ALB stock is down about 13% since we recommended it back on October 2, 2021. But at least it’s not the company’s fault the stock is down…

Take Albemarle’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report, for example. The company beat earnings expectations by $0.02 per share but missed sales expectations by $500,000 due to slightly lower-than-expected lithium sales.

Albemarle even boosted its 2022 outlook, saying it expects earnings per share to arrive between $5.65 and $6.65 with revenue between $4.2 billion and $4.5 billion — that’s a 27% rise in sales year over year.

So, why did ALB stock plunge following earnings? One word: expectations.

Aashish, if you read my reply to Al B. back on February 4, you know that Wall Street analysts play a pivotal role in stock price action. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for us, they don’t always get it right, and Albemarle is an excellent example of this.

KeyBanc Capital Markets Senior Analyst Aleksey Yefremov said it himself after Albemarle’s earnings:

[Investors] were hoping it’d be a blowout because the spot lithium prices are so high.
Senior Analyst Aleksey Yefremov expectations incorrect

Yes, spot lithium prices are really freaking high. But they’re high for multiple reasons — and not just rising demand. You see, there’s this little thing called the pandemic that affected supply chains and labor.

For Albemarle, that meant pandemic-related labor shortfalls at its mining operations. It meant supply chain issues for delivering lithium to customers. And, it meant slightly lower lithium demand due to electric vehicle and battery makers struggling with semiconductor shortages.

So, again, yes, lithium spot prices were high, and if that’s all Yefremov looked at for his “blowout” expectations … well, I’m hoping I don’t have to spell out for you why Albemarle expectations were off the mark.

Combine this with Wall Street’s drastic case of risk-aversion, and I think we’re doing well with ALB stock down only about 13% since we entered the position.

What this really is, however, is a buying opportunity for anyone who missed our original recommendation — or an opportunity to add to your ALB stock holdings.

Lithium demand will only rise from here, and Albemarle is the king of lithium right now. Don’t look this gift horse in the mouth.

Thanks again for writing in, Aashish!

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Hi Stuff, is this a reflection on Raceway Park, in NJ? Bad memory, I forget, did you grow up in NY or thereabouts? — Jeff F.

Well hello there, Jeff-f-f! Thanks for writing in.

I have to say, this is the first time anyone has asked me if I grew up in New Jersey. While I do love me some Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Eddie and the Cruisers … I’m not some guy from Jersey.

I’m Kentucky born and raised, y’all. And the first time I ever heard “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” blaring on my old CRT TV was for a local tractor pull. Those are kinda like monster truck rallies, but all amateur and local.

Ya ain’t never truly experienced a Sunday without going to church in the morning, hitting up grandma’s for lunch and then heading to the tractor pull with all 14 of your cousins in the afternoon.

Great Sunday meme

Ahh … those were the days.

Anyway … what were we talking about? Oh, yea…

So, for the heck of it, I thought I’d research where the booming “SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!” soundbite came from and if it was, in fact, Jersey-based or not.

Our top investigators searched high and low for all of about 20 seconds before finding Jan C. Gabriel — racetrack announcer and radio spot reader — who came up with the phrase to help advertise an Indiana drag strip. (Not that kind, I promise.)

You can read up on the whole “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday” story here — I’ll wait. But suffice it to say, Gabriel’s tagline grew like a weed, seeping into other racetrack announcers’ repertoires like a meme before memes were memes.

How do you like them announcement-worthy apples? Nobody’s original, after all. Everything’s been done before.

The best part about all this? Gabriel’s ad spots ended with “Where the great ones run!” which I might actually steal for the Great Stuff inbox…

You know, that’s the thing where you write in your thoughts … and we read them! Imagine that.

Remember, if you have a burning question you want looked at, they have ointments for that. Take care of yourself first … then write to us!

GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com. It’s where the Great Ones run! Every day of the week, too — not just on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

In the meantime, here’s where you can find our other junk — erm, I mean where you can check out some more Greatness:

Joseph Hargett. Editor of Great Stuff

Joseph Hargett
Editor, Great Stuff