Monthly Archives: November 2015

Abengoa Seeks Insolvency Protection

Jim Lane In New York, NASDAQ shares in Abengoa SA (ABGB) plunged 49% in Wednesday trading after the embattled renewable energy developer said it would seek bankruptcy protection as it seeks to reorganize nearly $9.4 billion in debt. The protective filing was announced after an expected infusion of nearly $300 million from Spanish steelmaker Gonvarri did not materialize. The company’s debt had been previously downgraded to a B3 rating by Moody’s, six rungs on the ladder beneath investment grade. Last week, Moody’s described the company’s cash reserves as “insufficient” and expressed that asset sales and a round of...

Zumtobel Turns LED into Dividends

by Debra Fiakas CFA Based on Austria, Zumtobel Group (ZMTBF:  OTC or ZAG:  Vienna) is a supplier of modern lighting products using Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology.  Zumtobel sells its lights and components under three international brands Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel and two regional brands ACDC and Reiss.  Zumtobel has a long history in lighting with its foundation in the 1950s in Dr. Zumtobel’s Electrogerate und Kunstharzpresswerk.  The Thorn brand, which was acquired in 2000, dates back to the 1920s when founder Jules Thorn set up the Electric Lamp Service Company.  Zumtobel sells lights in over...

Recurrent Energy And Sunpower Charging Up

Bottom line: Major new financing for Recurrent Energy and Apple’s growing partnership with SunPower reflect technology advances that are making solar power plants increasingly competitive with traditional sources. Two solar power plant builders are in the headlines today, reflecting a shift that is seeing this new generation of companies take the spotlight from older solar panel makers that are desperately seeking new buyers for their products. The first headline has solar panel maker Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) announcing that its Recurrent Energy plant-building unit has secured financing for a major new US project, as Recurrent gets set for its...

Energy Infrastructure Construction Made Easy

by Debra Fiakas CFA Electric power companies need plenty of generating plants and distribution works to bring electricity to our doors.  Electric utilities are very good at generating electricity and managing relationships with the families and businesses that use the power, but building all that infrastructure  -  drawing up plans, hauling in materials and fastening girders  -  is not necessarily a power company’s strong suit.  Enter Quanta, Inc. (PWR:  NYSE) with a full menu of design, engineering and construction services for electricity generation and distribution infrastructure. Solving problems for electric utilities is good business for Quanta.  The...

Growing Market Skepticism Towards Chinese Renewable Energy

Bottom line: Weak share reactions to upbeat news from Trina, ReneSola and Ming Yang reflect investor skepticism towards new energy stocks, as they face lingering issues of overcapacity and phasing out of government subsidies. A flurry of upbeat news is in the headlines today from 3 of China’s largest new energy equipment makers, led by a return to the profit column for solar panel maker ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) after a year in the red. At the same time, wind power equipment maker Ming Yang (NYSE: MY) also announced its latest quarterly results that were quite upbeat, and solar panel...

The Wind in Spain is Mostly in GAMESA

by Debra Fiakas CFA In the second week of November 2015, GAMESA Corporation (GTQ1: Berlin, GAM: Madrid, or GCTAF: OTC), Spain’s wind turbine manufacturer, reported double the net profit in the nine months ending September 2015, on revenue that was 30% higher than the same period last year.  During the period GAMESA has received orders from customers in twenty-five different countries for wind turbines with generating capacity of 2,841 megawatts.   Backlog at the end of September 2015 was 3,034 megawatts, representing a 43% increases over backlog a year ago.  At a time when some companies are struggling amidst...

Dyadic Sells Industrial Technology Business To Dupont

Jim Lane As Dyadic cashes out of industrial biotech and retains a C1 license for pharma, DSM and Syngenta also announce a partnership. Companies are girding their loins for the long haul. The Digest takes a look, In Florida, DuPont (DD) Industrial Biosciences will acquire substantially all of the enzyme and technology assets Dyadic’s (DYAI) Industrial Technology business for $75 million, including Dyadic’s C1 platform, a technology for producing enzyme products used in a broad range of industries. DuPont has granted back to Dyadic co-exclusive rights to the C1 technology for use in human and animal pharmaceutical...

Enviva: Wood Pellets Into Dividends

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week Enviva Partners, LP (EVA:  NYSE) reported financial performance for its wood pellets business in its quarter ending September 2015.  Sales totaled a whopping $116.6 million, representing a 53% increase compared to $40.5 million in the same quarter last year.  The big jump in revenue resulted from higher volumes to larger customers.  Distributable cash flow totaled $12.6 million compared to $8.2 million in the year ago period.  Quarter performance made possible a declared cash distribution of $0.44 per common unit, which is 7% higher than the minimum quarterly distribution. At its...

Investors Awaken to NextEra YieldCo

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NEP:  NYSE) reported financial results for the third quarter ending September 2015.  The numbers were released in along with quarter results from its parent, Florida-based utility NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE:  NYSE).  The partnership is the operating arm of clean energy projects originated by the NextEra parent.  The ‘yieldco’ as these operating entities have been kindly dubbed by shareholders, delivered $1.0 million in reported net income, but operating cash flow was a whopping $36 million in the quarter. The consensus estimate had been for $0.24 in earnings per...

MEMC and SunEdison, a Tale of Two Companies

by Paula Mints SunEdison (SUNE) has been in the news of late and with a confusing acquisition strategy, interesting financial decisions, layoffs and high debt it is beginning to look a lot like MEMC.  This is really a tale of two companies – one a raw material manufacturer and pioneer in silicon wafer technology founded decades ago, the other a pioneering developer in the commercial PV space, and how in becoming one, the combined company took on the personality of the raw material company. In the past MEMC engaged in an aggressive acquisition strategy...

China’s Solar Power Inc Eyes $300 Mln NY IPO

Doug Young Bottom line: New York IPO plans by a Canadian Solar unit and Solar Power Inc could auger a new wave of similar listings by Chinese new energy power plant builders, offering investors a higher growth alternative to traditional utilities. Just a day after solar panel maker Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) announced it has spun off its fast-growing solar power plant-building unit for a US listing, another China-based peer is discussing plans for a similar IPO. This time a company called Solar Power Inc is the one disclosing plans for a New York listing to raise...

Ormat Eyeing Storage M&A for Geothermal Projects

Jennifer Delony Reno, Nev.-based Ormat Technologies (ORA) is seeking mergers and acquisitions that will help the company enhance its geothermal projects with energy storage technologies, Ormat CEO Isaac Angel said on Nov. 4. “On the storage solutions side, we are progressing well,” Angle said during a 3Q15 earnings webcast. “I’m very optimistic that we will be able to add a lot of MW … and profitability to our existing power plants.” Angle said that he also is optimistic that the company will secure a deal soon that will initiate Ormat’s energy storage strategy. “We’re almost there,” he said....

The Green Plains Way

Jim Lane As the renewables industry searches for effective business models, a strong one emerges in its midst. We look at Green Plains (GPRE) and its businesses. A recurring theme among the 300+ delegates at ABLC Next this week in San Francisco is the recognition that successful companies change the world not science projects, or failed companies and that any route that leads across the Valley of Death to commercial success is the first step towards a sustainable economy, and that strong lead products are the oxen that get settlers across the desert. Renewable...

Canadian Solar Eyes IPO for Plant-Building Unit

Doug Young Bottom line: Canadian Solar is likely to target at least $100 million in an IPO for its power plant-building unit before year end, which could be an attractive investment alternative for buyers of traditional utility stocks. Just days after announcing big new financing for its unit focused on solar power plant construction, Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) is taking a big new step by disclosing it is preparing an IPO to separately list that unit. The move marks the latest wrinkle in the evolving story for Chinese solar panel manufacturers, which are quickly becoming their own best customers...

October Undoes September: Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2015

Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA In the two months since my last "monthly" update, clean energy stocks fell precipitously in September and then recovered most of those losses in October, although not for the year.  Income focused Yieldcos have been particularly badly hit, but my income heavy  Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2015 model portfolio has done quite well in spite of this.  I attribute this resilience to my emphasis on current dividend income, rather than the dividend plus double-digit growth that many Yieldcos were promising before the collapse in their stock prices rendered...

Pattern Energy Investors Enjoy The Breeze

by Debra Fiakas CFA This week Pattern Energy Group’s (PEGI:  Nasdaq), the independent wind power generator, is scheduled to report sales and earnings for the quarter ending September 2015.  The company has cultivated a strong following among analysts for a company its size.  Nine estimate contributions have gone into a consensus estimate of $87.2 million in sales for the quarter, resulting in a net loss of a penny per share.  If achieved the sales hurdle would represent 22% growth over the same quarter last year.  A penny loss may not seem impressive, but it is substantially better than...