When I asked my panel of green money managers their predictions for trends 2013, I got enough material for four articles: On where the cleantech sector is heading in 2013, as well as on Solar, Smart Grid, and LED technology.
I also asked them for stock picks, some of which I included in the previous articles. Several had opinions about EnerNOC (NASD:ENOC), which I wrote about here, and two picked LED stocks Veeco Instruments (NASD:VECO) and Universal Display Corp. (NASD:PANL), which I discussed here.
Since I just published my annual model portfolio of Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2013, I thought it would be interesting to compare the performance of their six picks as well, especially since there is absolutely no overlap. It’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, since I did these interviews before the holidays, but I still expect it to be interesting.
Here are the rest of their picks.
Shawn Kravetz: Amtech Systems
Shawn Kravetz is President of Esplanade Capital LLC, a Boston based investment management company one of whose funds is focused on solar and companies impacted by the emergence of solar. Kravetz likes Amtech Systems (NASD:ASYS), a maker of capital equipment for the semiconductor and solar industries. He likes Amthech because it is
Currently trading at a 40% discount to the cash on its balance sheet as their business has deteriorated sharply, they are managing cash superbly and have significant business opportunities should there be any activity whatsoever in solar manufacturing in 2013.
Kravetz made these comments when Amtech was trading at $3.10.
Sam Healey: Hudson Technologies
Sam Healey is a portfolio manager at Lamassu Capital. He likes Hudson Technologies (NASD:HDSN), saying:
Hudson is a refrigerant technology/reclamation company. For the majority of the past years they have served as a refrigerant re-seller, selling R-22 and other refrigerant gases. With the EPA currently cracking down on its R-22 phase out and severely limiting the virgin R-22 production, R-22 prices tripled in 2012 and will likely move up materially again in 2013. Hudson has the ability to reclaim used R-22 (it is illegal to vent though many do it) and clean it up and resell in. Prior to the EPA phase out the economics were not attractive enough to promote wide spread reclamation Despite the fact that it is illegal, many many contractors would and did vent the gas into the air rather then capture and reclaim it because in many cases they would have to pay to get rid of the dirty gas. With the R-22 price spike HDSN can now pay contractors for the dirty gas thereby getting supply to clean up and decreasing the amount of gas that gets into the atmosphere. The demand for R-22 will last years beyond the allowed period of virgin production. If one uses the R-12 phase out as a template, R-12 prices went from 3$ per pound to 20$ per pound. R-22 went from $4 up to $9 last year, and now I think is moving into the low double digits. HDSN also has R-Side technology which they use to enhance/diagnosis large cooling units and make them much more energy efficient The R-side product, though not materially significant in Revenue right now, I think gets this company into a clean energy universe as an energy efficiency play. I like HDSN, think it has the right product at the right time and has a large upside potential.
Sam made these comments when HDSN was trading at $3.31.
Garvin Jabusch: First Solar
Garvin Jabusch is cofounder and chief investment officer of Green Alpha ® Advisors, and is co-manager of the Green Alpha ® Next Economy Index, or GANEX and the Sierra Club Green Alpha Portfolio. He also authors the blog ”Green Alpha’s Next Economy.” Among renewable energy companies, he likes First Solar (NASD:FSLR). He says,
They’re the global thin-film leaders, to the extent that they’ve even been invited to bid and work on projects in China, where the state is aggressively trying to support its domestic PV manufacturing players. Yet, where thin film is the appropriate approach, FSLR gets the call. FSLR will continue to be strong in the U.S. as well since it’s not subject to tariffs imposed on Chinese solar makers. First Solar – and solar in general – have been so unfairly maligned that the stage is set for an upside surprise as the reality of how we need to power the global economic production function sets in.
Jabusch made these comments when FSLR was trading for $32.56.
I find other manager’s picks particularly useful because they give me new companies to consider. Of these, I find Amtech and Hudson Technologies particularly interesting, and will be keeping an eye out for a stock pull-back to possibly acquire one or both.
Disclosure: Kravetz has along position in ASYS, and Healy owns HDSN. I have no positions in these stocks.
DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indi
cator of future results. This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.