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Vertex Energy (VTNR) is a vertically integrated hydrocarbon recovery company that has profitably grown revenues from $38m in 2009 to $110m in 2011. The company owns and operates a network of used motor oil collectors and aggregators, and then refines this feedstock using the company’s proprietary TCEP technology into higher value end products. The company has been expanding organically and by way of strategic acquisitions to broaden its footprint. Recovering, recycling and reusing hydrocarbons, plastics, and chemicals, has been a very hot area for investors the last couple of years. Several mergers and acquisitions in the space have made Vertex Energy a potential target. Heckmann (HEK) acquired Thermal Fluids in 2011, followed by Clean Harbor’s (CLH) acquisition of Safety-Kleen a few months ago. Heritage-Crystal Clean (HCCI), an industry comparable trades at over 20x 2013 EPS estimates. Vertex Energy has flown under the radar even while producing a more impressive growth curve then its larger peers. While the peer group trades at 20x 2013 analyst estimates, Vertex trades at 5x 2013 estimates, and that's the opportunity. Listen to CEO Ben Cowart as he tells the story.
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