As Christmas fast approaches, the season's colors are starting to appear everywhere. However, for a change of pace, how about if we take a look at those companies showing Christmas colors on their balance sheet (yes, we know we're shoe-horning this in here but just run with it). Here are some companies that are green as a Christmas tree in their ecological concerns, but as red as Rudolph's nose on their balance sheets.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (S)
Okay, so Sprint is not, strictly speaking, a "green company" in the sense that it works in green technologies or services. However, they did rank #16 in the world according to Newsweek's 500 Greenest companies, good for the third highest in the United States. This is actually a fall from the 2010 rankings where Sprint was #6 in the world. Still, Sprint boasted a 41 percent reuse/recycling rate, the industry's best, as of 2010 and has plans to reach 90 percent by 2017. The company has also pledged to secure 10 percent of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2017 and boasts about purchasing 80 percent of the energy used at its headquarters from a nearby wind farm.
While investors in Sprint might be smiling about the company's green ways, they may not be quite so enamored with Sprint's profitability of late. Sprint reported good news in October with its Q3 earnings report: it had ONLY lost $300 million that quarter. This was good news, in some sense, because it had lost over $900 million in Q3 of last year. Sprint is currently scrambling to come up with the $7 billion it needs to pay for a $15.5 billion deal with Apple (AAPL) to begin carrying the iPhone.
Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)
Tesla Motors is car company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric vehicles and advanced components for electric vehicles. The primary commercial vehicle offered by the company is the Tesla Roadster, a luxury electric vehicle that offers comparable performance without any tailpipe emissions. While CEO Elon Musk expressed optimism during the most recent Q3 earnings report, including an 85-percent increase in year-over-year revenues, but he still had to report that Tesla recorded a net loss in the quarter of $65.1 million.
Solazyme Inc (SZYM)
Solazyme is a biofuels company that converts plant based sugars into oil. The most promising technology, though, involves creating oil using micro-algae. That's right, Solazyme wants to help you run your car on algae. The company is exploring some very exciting possibilities, and it received a big boost in early November on news that United Continental Holdings (UAL) would be using Solazyme's product to help fuel some of its domestic flights. However, while Solazyme might see a promising future, its present is not as good. Solazyme had to report a net loss of $11.5 million for Q3 of 2011, up almost $3 million year-over-year.
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