Performance Update: 10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2009

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I promised I’d do a performance update on my 10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2009 each quarter.  Here is the first (although readers got a mini-update in mid February, because I decided I didn’t want to use double-shorts.)

Company  Ticker

Change 12/27/08 to 3/27/09

Dividend & Interest

The Algonquin Power Income Trust AGQNF.PK +7.14% 5.36%
Cree, Inc. CREE +59.96%  
First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF FAN -10.73%  
General Electric GE -32.50% 1.94%
Johnson Controls JCI -25.97% 0.77%
New Flyer Industries NFYIF.PK +13.52% 2.31%
Ormat ORA +6.81% 0.23%
Trinity Industries TRN -33.20% 0.47%
Warterfurnace Renewable Energy WFIFF.PK +17.77% 1.05%
-2x  S&P Depository Receipts + 3x Cash (was SDS until Feb 13) 3x $ – 2x SPY  4.31% -0.14%
Total Portfolio  1.61%

Benchmarks

S&P 500 -6.51%
  iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index (ICLN) -7.30%

As you can see, the portfolio has been strongly outperforming both the market index (+8%) and clean energy stocks (+9%).  The big gainers were Energy Efficiency Stocks Cree and Waterfurnace Renewable Energy, and Mass Transit stock New Flyer Industries.  All of these are set to benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: New Flyer even received a visit from Vice President Joe Biden.  The inclusion of these stocks in the list was no accident: I chose to emphasize energy efficiency and transit because I was expecting them to be a large part of the stimulus (although I can’t claim to have predicted the VP’s travel itinerary.)

On the losing side, we see conglomerates (each also involved in clean transportation and/or energy efficiency) which have been knocked down by the continuing financial crisis (GE), car industry (Johnson Controls), or rail industry (Trinity), all of which have been disproportionately  hurt by one aspect or another of the continuing downward slide of the economy.  It was for just this contingency that I included the SPY short, since, as I said "I feel there is more downside risk than upside potential for the market as a whole in 2009."  

As usual, in hindsight, I feel I should have seen the implications of GE’s exposure to finance, or Johnson Controls’s exposure to the auto industry, but I can’t complain about the overall performance.

Stay tuned for updates on my Ten Clean Energy Gambles for 2009 (on a losing streak, but no more than the benchmarks) and my Quick Clean Energy Mutual Fund Tracking Portfolio (more "turbo-charged" than "tracking") as these come
up on 3 months after the articles were published.

Tom Konrad, Ph.D.

DISCLOSURE: The author owns AGQNF, CREE, FAN, GE, JCI, NFYIF, ORA, TRN, WFIFF.

DISCLAIMER: The information and trades provided here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

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