BUZZ-Westport Innovations Inc: Jefferies cuts rating; stock at 5-yr low

Mon Dec 1, 2014 11:52am EST
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** Shares of Canadian company that makes natural gas fueled engines down 10.5 pct at more than 5-year low of C$4.69

** U.S-listed shares down 13 pct, also at more than 5-year low $4.10

** Jefferies & Co downgrades stock to "hold" from "buy"; Fourteen of 18 brokerages currently covering stock rate it "hold", according to Thomson Reuters data

** Brokerage also cuts price target to $5.25; Median price target on stock is $7

** Jefferies analysts cite weaker-than-expected demand for natural gas vehicles in 2014 for rating, price target cuts; say company will need to cut R&D spending further to achieve profitability targets

** Adoption of Westport's technology has been slow in the United States and Canada, where natural-gas fueling stations are scarce and cheaper diesel engines have become more efficient

** U.S.-listed stock fell as much as 30 percent to 5-year low of $7.40 as recently as Oct. 1, when Westport forecast 2014 revenue well below analysts' expectation, citing falling component sales in Europe, Russia and China