Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: #10 United Technologies

Like most conglomerates, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), (NYSE:UTX) won't be found in any of the Clean Energy indices, but its growing portfolio of clean energy businesses makes it fit well into a diversified portfolio with a clean energy tilt.  A conservative capital structure and solid earnings and cash flow, and a decades long history of constantly increasing dividends make this a company that I'm comfortable holding for the long term.   In terms of sustainability, the company has been recognized by Dow Jones as in the top 10% of the world's most sustainable companies.  Long before it became fashionable for...

Ten Alternative Energy Speculations for 2008: LEDs and Ultracaps

Investing in Renewable Energy Stocks seldom fails to be exciting, although it can lead to crushing losses as well as mouthwatering gains (Think Ethanol stocks and Thin Film Solar in 2007.)  With this in mind, I usually emphasize that the majority of most investors portfolios should be targeted towards larger, profitable companies, especially those focused on Energy Efficiency rather than the more sexy Renewable Energy technologies.  This is the philosophy behind Alternative Energy Stocks' Blue Chip Portfolio: companies which aren't sexy, but which still are well positioned to take advantage of rising oil prices and increasing efforts to reduce...

LSB Industries And Activist Fund Position Themselves For Board Election

With the resignation of four non-independent directors and reduction in the size of LSB’s board, the company has managed to appear to be making a step towards reform while making it harder for the activist fund to gain influence. Gaining influence in a tightly controlled family firm is never easy. It looks like the task just got significantly harder for Engine Capital in its quest to unlock shareholder value at LSB.

Space Cannon Selects Cree LEDs for All New LED Lighting Systems

Cree, Inc. (CREE) announced that major lighting designer and manufacturer Space Cannon VH S.p.A. has signed an agreement to purchase approximately $5.4 million of XLamp® power LEDs, among the industry's brightest and most efficient high power light emitting diodes (LEDs). Space Cannon plans to use Cree power LEDs exclusively for all future solid state lighting installations, including high profile projects, such as the Turin Olympics. I really like the LED and energy efficiency space and think these types of projects will become more common. The key is to get into these companies at the...

Geothermal Heat Pumps: The Next Generation

Tom Konrad CFA The most efficient way to heat and cool a building just got more efficient. Geothermal heat pump diagram via Bigstock Climatemaster, a division of LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU), recently announced that their new Trilogy 40 geothermal heat pump (GHP) had been certified by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) to exceed 40 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) under ground loop conditions. EER is the ratio of effective cooling (heat removed) to the energy used, at maximal load, and is the standard...

Hannon Armstrong’s Strong Q2 Keeps It In My Top Picks

By Jeff Siegel Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI), one of my top picks for 2014, just made me very happy. Yesterday, the company announced its Q2 Core Earnings of $4.7 million or $0.22 per share. On a GAAP basis, the Company recorded net income of $2.9 million. Here are some other highlights. . . Raised approximately $70 million in April, 2014 in a follow-on offering. Increased the flexibility and expanded the capacity of its existing credit facility by $200 million. Completed more than $200 million worth of transactions, including the acquisition of a $107 million portfolio of land...

Congress Approves Billions in Energy Storage Incentives

On Friday, the House of Representatives and Senate passed H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and sent the bill to President Obama for his signature. The impact on companies that manufacture advanced batteries and other energy storage devices will be staggering. The principal energy storage appropriations include: $2,000,000,000 for grants to manufacturers of advanced battery systems and vehicle batteries that are produced in the United States, including advanced lithium ion batteries, hybrid electrical systems, component manufacturers, and software designers;  $4,500,000,000 for grants for “Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability” including activities to modernize the electric...

What’s In Store For The Grid

One the biggest problems facing North American power markets is the age of, and lack of investment in, power grids. Over the next few years, we can likely expect some major investments going into refurbishing and expanding North American electricity distribution networks. As an alternative energy investor, you probably want to have the grid issue on your radar. The reason is that as new money pours into this sector, certain firms with interesting technologies to make the grid more efficient could see some substantial upside. The DOE announced, two days ago, that it had awarded funding for...

Energy Recovery Offers Savings to Gas Industry

by Debra Fiakas CFA In early December 2014, Energy Recovery (ERII:  Nasdaq) staged an analyst and investor event in New York City principally to introduce its most recent technology innovation, VorTeq.  The product is a hydraulic fracturing solution for the gas industry.  Unlike its other products, the VorTeq is a colossal apparatus requiring a semi-tractor to transport it into place as a replacement for the ‘missiles’ now found at natural gas well sites. VorTeq Animation In the current configuration, high pressure pumps are used to drive a blend of fracturing sand, water and chemicals down into the well hole.  Pump components,...

Green Shoots for Green Building: Seven Stocks to Play the Trend

Tom Konrad CFA Rockwool insulation (Photo: Achim Hering) Signs of Green Building Growth Rockwool International (COP:ROCK-B,OTC:RKWBF) recently announced the establishment of the insulation manufacturer’s first US factory, in Mississippi, about 30 miles outside Memphis, Tennessee.  The firm has been seeing double-digit annual sales growth in North America, driven by interest from do-it-yourself chains and insulating commercial buildings, and expects this growth to continue. The company’s rock wool insulation, sustainably made from stone and recycled materials, can provide improved fire protection when compared to traditional insulation products. Rockwool is far...

U.S. Air Force to Purchase Initial Cyberlux LED Systems

Cyberlux Corp. (CYBL.OB) announced that the Company has completed the contract requirements associated with the advanced solid-state LED security lighting system developed by Cyberlux for the United States Air Force. Based on the demonstration results of the Portable Covert Illumination System, the Air Mobility Battlelab completed the project briefing with A7 Air Mobility Command senior leadership and successfully transitioned the Watchdog System from field trials to procurement. Cyberlux estimates that the USAF demand will exceed $1M initially and the demand from other military branches to exceed $5M for adapted versions of the BrightEye and Watchdog Systems.

Lime Energy, or Lemon Energy?

Tom Konrad CFA Last week, when Lime Energy (NASD:LIME) announced that an internal investigation by its audit committee had revealed up to $15 million in misreported revenue, my first instinct was to sell, especially because the misreported revenue included not only revenue assigned to the wrong period, but possibly completely fictitious revenue.  Whenever a company reveals accounting problems, it's bad.  But there are levels of bad. As Garvin Jabusch, Cofounder and CIO of Green Alpha Advisors and manager of the Sierra Club Green Alpha Portfolio put...

The Value of Energy Efficiency

I've begun acting as a consultant to the Colorado Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (CEEBC) in a rulemaking docket for Demand Side Management (DSM) case before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  In the 2007 Legislative session, the Colorado legislature passed enabling legislation calling for utility-wide Demand Side Management programs for natural gas utilities.  To date, all DSM in Colorado has been focused on low income customers.  Crucially, the legislation allows for non-energy benefits, such as increased comfort, economic multiplier effects (i.e. jobs), and reduced volatility of energy costs be included in the evaluation of the benefits of programs. ...

Can Rubicon Hire Bring Shine Back To Sapphire?

by Debra Fiakas CFA On Friday Rubicon Technology, Inc. (RBCN:  Nasdaq) announced the appointment of a new chief operating officer to manage the company’s sapphire materials production.  Rubicon is a producer of materials used in electronics components, including the company’s specialty, monocrystalline sapphire materials.   Rubicon chose a seasoned operator for the COO post, which now encompasses functions previously carried about by managers in two different positions.  The new hire, Hany Tamim, was previously with SunEdison (SUNE:  Nasdaq), the developer and producer of solar cells and modules.  He has experience in managing crystal growth and...

Stock Picks with a Whole Systems Approach

Tom Konrad CFA Picking the best energy services stocks. Fossil fuels are getting more expensive, but so are the industrial metals and other commodities used in the wind and solar farms with which we hope to replace them.   Meanwhile, government and personal budgets everywhere are under strain.  These economic imperatives make energy efficiency the one clean energy sector that may benefit despite rising denial about the existence of climate change among the US political elite and continued economic weakness. Energy efficiency represents the sort of true win-win-win in that it saves money, reduces the use...

Is Cree, Inc. (CREE) Likely to Burn Out?

Tom Konrad, CFA Pioneering light-emitting diode (LED) maker Cree, Inc. looks overvalued. Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, can be made to shine more brightly by increasing the power to them.  This has the unfortunate effect of overheating the leads and shortening the lifespan of the LED.  A similar effect may soon hit the stock of LED maker, Cree, Inc. (CREE.) Since I began the tradition, Cree has been a mainstay of my annual portfolio of ten stocks for the next year, published each January (See the 2008 and 2009 lists.  The Cree-free 2010 list is here.)  LEDs have been among...
Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami