Buying Lime and Finavera (11 Clean Energy Stocks for 2012)
Tom Konrad CFA
Portfolio performanceMarch was a volatile month for clean energy, with many of my picks reporting earnings. My 11 picks were down 4% on average since my last update (March 1st to April 5th), compared to a 9% decline in the Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Index (PBW), while the broad Russell 2000 index was flat. The hedged portfolio (see the original article for details) lost 5%.
For the year to date, the portfolio has put in a strong performance, and is up 15%. PBW and the Russell 2000 are up only 3% and 11%, respectively. The hedged portfolio is up 10%. See the following chart for details:
Wind Developers: A Little Birdie
Last time, I mentioned I has a limit order to buy Western Wind
That order has since executed at $1.68, and the stock bottomed at
$1.66. Since then, I tweeted
that the company had applied for the $90M Section 1603 cash
grant on their 120 MW Windstar project. While this was expected,
it reduces uncertainly around the company's projects. Even a
little more certainty around a $90M payment is significant for a
$115M market cap company.
I also tweeted
that Finavera Wind Energy (FNVRF.PK/FVR.V)
had received its Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) for
its Tumbler Ridge project. This was the last barrier to
project construction (funded by GE Energy (GE).)
The EAC is also significant because the EAC applications for
Finavera's 77MW Wildmare and 120MW Meikle projects are modeled on
Tumbler Ridge. Not only can Finavera begin construction of
Tumbler, but investors can be a little more confident that
Wildmare and Meikle will also
obtain EACs. Finally, Finavera also closed on a $200
thousand convertible note in March, easing the company's tight
liquidity. I recently bought more Finavera at $0.355 on the
Earnings disappointed investors at New Flyer (NFYEF.PK/NFI.TO)
and Lime Energy (LIME.)
about New Flyer last week, so I won't repeat myself
here. Since then, the only news has been the ratification of
a new collective work agreement by the union at New Flyer's
Winnipeg factory: Good news, but not enough to move the stock
The highlight of Lime's (LIME)
earnings were a big write-off and less than expected revenues in
their Commercial and Industrial (C&I) division. When I
about Lime last October, I concluded by saying,
A renewed market decline, along with a possible earnings miss caused by C&I clients hoarding cash in the climate of uncertainty could easily lead to a lower stock price in the coming months. I’ll be watching the stock closely and buying cautiously if either of these comes to pass.
We have not had the stock market decline yet, but this was the
earnings miss I was waiting for. I took the opportunity to
scoop up a bunch of this stock between $2.65 and $2.95 over the
last week, most notably when Lime had a surprising intra-day
sell-off which I tweeted
about on Monday.
On March 9th, Waterfurnace Renewable Energy (WFIFF.PK/WFI.TO)
announced revenue for 2011, down 0.5% from 2010, but improved
margins because of a price increase in late 2010. The market
has reacted mildly favorably, with Waterfurnace's stock climbing
slowly but steadily since.
Alterra Power (MGMXF.PK/AXY.TO)
also announced earnings on March 28th. The good news was no
news: all Alterra's development project continue on pace, and
there have been no significant hiccups in power production.
Given the large number of mishaps in the geothermal industry in
2011, a few months of no bad news is all that it takes a for great
stock performance in 2012.
The Acquisition Cycle
Bicycle manufacturer Accell Group (ACCEL.AS)
was cruising along with 2011 sales 9% over 2010, and net
profit up 11% announced in February. Profits were driven by
a continued shift into higher value electric bikes. The
company is re-cycling its profits into more acquisitions of
bicycle brands. Accell adds value to its acquisitions with
a strong distribution network which is unusual in the very
fragmented bicycle industry. Having already purchased
American electric bike and scooter manufacturer Currie
Technologies, Accell is now in talks to buy storied bicycle brand
Raleigh. (As an aside, I own an older Currie iZip, a
utilitarian commuter bike, although I just upgraded to the much
sportier EZ008 and
am looking to sell the iZip.)
ConclusionWhile my stocks lost a little ground in March and the first week of April, it has been a good month in comparison to Clean Energy stocks in general. Most of this has probably been due (again) to my avoidance of solar stocks, which are again looking like they are headed for new lows.
We're seeing decent buying opportunities in Lime Energy, which I think is a deal below $3, and Finavera which seems quite cheap at $0.36, although the company's low cash on hand could drive the stock lower if they are forced to dilute current stockholders to raise funds.
DISCLOSURE: Long WFIFF, LIME, AMRC, RKWBF, WM, VE, ACCEL, NFYEF, FNVRF, WNDEF, MGMXF, and puts on IWM and SPY.
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.