Oklahoma’s energy industry had an unlikely champion in the year ending June 30. Syntroleum Corp. jumped more than 30 spots to head the Oklahoma Inc. list of the state’s top companies, surpassing oil and gas titans like Devon Energy Corp. and Continental Resources Inc.
Syntroleum was the runaway winner when compared to other Oklahoma energy companies, ranking first in total return for the year and percent change in revenues. It was second in percent change in earnings. Analyst Jake Dollarhide said the Tulsa company’s stock price has jumped more than 300 percent this year. "Good for Syntroleum shareholders,” he said. "They’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a tumultuous time for their shareholders since their initial public offering.” Syntroleum officials acknowledge the company is just starting to focus on turning a profit after years of research and development work. They expect their process for turning chicken fat and other animal waste into diesel fuel to pay major dividends in the future. Dollarhide, chief executive of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, said such alternative energy methods tend to be undervalued when energy prices are low, so Syntroleum’s rise is likely a sign that the economy is on the road to recovery. Dollarhide also suggested Syntroleum’s success bodes well for the oil and gas industry, which is desperate for an increase in commodity prices. "That’s the assumption you have to make,” he said. Oil and natural gas prices have been on the rise, a trend that Dollarhide expects to continue. "If oil makes a run back toward $40 and if gas sinks back down to the $2-$3 level, then the Syntroleum story doesn’t make any sense,” he said.