PFIE Update

Here’s an update from Walter Ramsley, the analyst who got me into PFIE in the first place. He publishes the public free newsletter Growth Stock Insider and here’s a link to the article:… Be aware in reading it that Walter is long the stock.


Oil Price Decline Masks Growth Potential

Profire reported excellent better than expected June quarter results. The analysts’ estimates were in the $10-$11 million range. They actually came in at $13.1 million. Further sequential improvement is likely in the September period. Profire has been adding executive, sales, and engineering personnel at a blistering pace. Margins likely will be affected in the September and December periods, as a result of those costs. But sales promise to continue their explosive uptrend, keeping earnings intact.

Profire is the leading provider of automated burner management systems used by oil and gas producers in the U.S. and Canada. The company holds an estimated 75% of the market. And that percentage is expanding. Competitors are exiting the business instead of moving in. Profire has the industry’s lowest costs, best technology, widest distribution network, and most dependable service operation.

The latest slide in oil prices caused a sharp selloff in the stock price. Investors are concerned that drilling activity will moderate and that incremental spending on products like Profire’s will be affected by declines in cash flow. Those worries are likely to weigh on the stock until oil prices rebound or Profire demonstrates that it can sustain its growth despite the macro-economic conditions.

The company is confident it can keep its growth rate intact. The sales force has doubled over the past six months. New offices are being opened. Additional services are being provided. New products are in the pipeline. And government regulation is growing. Colorado recently mandated the use of automated burner management systems, following Canada’s example. Customers are thanking those regulators because the systems are generating payback periods of 6-9 months, while improving employee safety and sharply reducing the amount of methane escaping into the atmosphere. Methane control could become a larger issue as the federal government expands its battle against global warming.

A majority of sales are made for use in existing wells. New wells comprise a significant but smaller percentage. Less than 5% of the potential market has been penetrated to date. Complementary markets for burner management systems promise to expand Profire’s horizons in the future. The total cost per well is approximately $6,000 including installation and related equipment. About half of that goes to Profire. It’s not a capital intensive sale. Payback is achieved by reducing the amount of fuel spent to run the burner systems. Those systems heat oil and gas coming out of the ground to remove impurities. Non-automated systems run at full blast all day long. Profire’s are modulated according to how much oil or gas actually is going through at a given time. Additional savings occur when the flame goes out. Non-automated systems require an employee to visit the site and re-light the unit. Profire’s units just turn the flame back on. The well operates continuously. The revenues keep flowing. Employee safety is a key issue, as well. Two dozen oilfield workers died last year re-lighting non-automated systems by hand.

We think the price of oil will bounce back as the worldwide economy improves Even if the price remains low, however, Profire is likely to keep thriving by providing systems with high rates of return to a huge industry without any real competition. In theory, if prices do remain low oil for an extended time demand will increase and production costs will decline, laying the foundation for a stronger industry over the long haul.


Great link, Saul, thanks. I’ve been a little surprised to see PFIE drop as oil prices drop – to me, it seems like oil companies would become increasingly concerned with efficiency as prices drop, providing an impetus to consider automated burn management much more seriously. Factor in the enhanced employee safety, quick payback of 6-9 months, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and it seems like a no-brainer. So I would think lower oil prices would actually be a boon for Profire.



Well - no complaints, the market enabled me to take a nice position, together with a double down on CLNE and a nice entry into Sketchers.

Reduced oil prices mean less revenue to oil producers. At $80/bbl some wells are non profitable. When you are making lot less money than you were a few months ago, and are fearful that prices will fall even further, you try to preserve cash. You don’t buy anything you don’t need right now
.The oil industry is a boom or bust one, bust periods usually last a year or two at a minimum.

Further impinging on cash flow is the need to drill wells even at a loss in order to hold leases.

Interesting quote from the Solazyme conference call today during the Q&A (slightly edited for brevity):

Q. Has there been a shift in the conversation given the recent drop in oil prices?

A. We haven’t yet seen any change in the desire for better technologies on the drilling side or less demand on the drilling side. Also, I think one of the things that some of our people in the field have told us is that as there’s more pressure on oil prices, it drives a greater discussion about how they can actually have savings during the drilling process, which I can’t promise you will end up working in our favor. But certainly, that’s some of the potential feedback that we’re getting.

That sounds to me like it could be positive news for Profire.