Ugly Everywhere

So goes Nasdaq, so goes IPOs. And, of course, both are going down.

Simply put, last week’s IPO market was ugly. A variety of companies decided
to withdraw their IPOs. Examples include ThruPoint, a consulting firm for
networking systems (the company even has a significant alliance with Cisco);
ObjectSpace, a business-to-business software firm (then again, what firm
isn’t b2b nowadays?); and c-quential, which provides consulting services to
the networking industry.

Oh, well. But in many cases an ugly market can ultimately mean great
returns.

An enticing company is Hydrogenics .
The company had its IPO on Friday and it was definitely a struggle. Although,
the IPO did price at the top of its range at $12, raising $76.5 million.
Unfortunately, by the end of trading, the stock was up a mere 25 cents.

The company is a leader in fuel cell technologies. Let’s face it, the world
consumes huge amounts of energy. Much of the energy results in nasty
pollution and is becoming more costly.

As for fuel cells, the technology is environmentally safe (the only
byproduct is water). What’s more, fuel cells are efficient and do not make
lots of noise.

As for Hydrogenics, the company develops test stations for fuel cells. For
example, the technology monitors such things as temperature, pressure and
power output.

The great thing about Hydrogenics is that – whichever technology prevails –
all companies will need testing equipment. Yep, it is like the proverbial
“pick-and-shovel” model.

Clients include General Motors, 3M and the U.S. Army. And the company is
showing growth. In the first six months of 2000, the company had sales of
$4.5 million and earnings of $83,000.

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