Moshe Gavrielov, CEO of semiconductor maker Xilinx, told The Street that energy is only a small part of the company’s product costs, and rising energy costs have not had a significant impact on his business. “That has a very secondary or tertiary impact on our business – it actually doesn’t impact the raw materials that we use for our products,” Gavrielov said.
Amir Adnan, CEO of uranium production and exploration company Uranium Energy, said the company does not use a significant amount of diesel. So energy costs have had little effect on his business, except for the negligible increase in fuel costs for travel between plants and mines, Adnan said.
And Salomon Sredni, CEO of brokerage Tradestation, said that volatility is actually a benefit for his company. “Our customers love volatility. Unlike most regular broker dealers… for our customers it’s really a fantastic thing because it allows for them to make profits in the markets intraday.”
These are not the only types of businesses that could benefit from high oil prices. Companies making products from recycled materials can cash in, especially if they are competing against products made from fossil fuels.
Recycling processes are in many cases more energy-efficient than making products from scratch, as aluminum giant Alcoa well knows. The company has plans to increase the recycling rate of aluminum cans in the U.S. to 75 percent by the year 2015, and recently took a $10 million stake in Electronics Recyclers International (ERI), one of the nation’s biggest collectors of e-waste. Alcoa says it takes 95 percent less energy to make a can from recycled aluminum than to make it from raw materials.
But J.C. Penney CEO Myron (Mike) Ullman III told The Street that if high fuel prices continue, customers may have to cut back on more discretionary spending. “We are mindful of it,” Ullman said. “So far it is somewhat of an unknown. At current levels, we don’t see it as a major drag on sentiment or spending.”
Picture credit: J. Stephen Conn