Looking for Cash in Old Refrigerators

by Debra Fiakas CFA Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCI:  NYSE) is a typical small company, toiling away in seeming obscurity and struggling to get proper valuation of their success.  There is little glamour in old refrigerators and washing machines, but ARCA has figured out how to wring cash from recycling our household appliances.  In the last three fiscal years the company converted 1.6% of sales to operating cash flow. Unfortunately, things have turned a bit sour in the world of old Frigidaires and tired Maytags.  Last week ARCA reported financial results for the quarter ending September 2015.  The company suffered...

The WGA Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop

The WGA Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop: Overview The Western Governor's Association (WGA)  held a two day workshop in Denver on July 17 and 18.  Colorado's Governor Bill Ritter kicked off the workshop (with a slightly late start due to the shooting of a deranged gunman outside his office on July 16.)  The workshop was a step towards achieving the WGA Clean and Diversified Energy resolution which includes a call for a 20% increase in Energy Efficiency in their states by 2020.  I attended because I believe: Energy Efficiency can and will do more to meet the challenges...

When Contrary Pays

Debra Fiakas Power One (PWER) looks like a promising contrarian play. It is a scenario that has plays out quarter after quarter.  A leading company in popular sector reports decent results, but surprises investors with guidance below the prevailing consensus.  Then the stock price crashes as sell-side analysts cut estimates, price targets and ratings.  It is a situation that many investors fear as they see once profitable stock positions lose value. Not the contrarian investor!  There are potential profits to be made for the obstinate, but fearless investors willing to do their homework.    This...

Investors: Concentrate on This Alternative Energy Sector and You Should Make a Lot of...

Bill Paul For my money, energy efficiency (aka, the “fifth fuel”) is the best alternative energy sector for investors because it’s primarily about saving money, only secondarily about saving the planet. The energy services industry reportedly has grown by more than 20% per year every year since 2004 and efficiency service providers now pull in an estimated $5.6 billion a year just on U.S. commercial buildings. Pike Research says there is a reservoir of untapped projects worth $400 billion. “There’s this huge untapped potential” for energy efficiency, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson was recently quoted as saying....

Two Dividend-Paying Energy-Efficiency Companies

Charles recently recommended a few dividend paying alternative energy companies as safe havens in the current turmoil.  Since I've been thinking along the same lines, I thought I'd add my own picks.  I currently like energy efficiency companies with solid balance sheets, because I believe that Obama's fiscal stimulus will contain significant money for green, energy-efficiency related jobs.   That said, here are two I'd add to Charles' list.  These two also have the advantage of being pure-play (or nearly pure-play) bets on clean energy. Name Ticker Yield Focus Related Articles Waterfunace Renewable Energy WFI.TO, WFFIF.PK...

OLED Miscues

Last week shares of Universal Display (OLED:  Nasdaq) closed down 15.8% on the week.  The price move was a surprise, especially for Universal’s ebullient management team.  The company had reported sales and earnings well above expectations for the fourth quarter ending December 2017, as the market embraces the company's proprietary energy-saving display technology.  The consensus had been for $0.85 in earnings per share on $100 million in total sales for the quarter. Management delivered. Sales in the quarter totaled $115.9 million as sales of proprietary PHOLED phosphorescent materials soared.  Net income was $32.8 million or $0.69 per share.  Excluding a one-time write-off of deferred tax assets of $11.5 million...

Canadian Municipality Saves Taxpayers $8 million Using Itron Enterprise Energy Management Software

Itron Inc. (ITRI) announced that the Region of Peel (ROP), a municipality near Toronto, Canada, has saved its residents more than $8 million by using their energy management software tools to reduce energy costs and operate its numerous facilities more efficiently.

Climate Change & Corporate Disclosure: Should Investors Care?

Charles Morand On Monday morning, I received an e-copy of a new research note by BofA Merrill Lynch arguing that disclosure by publicly-listed companies on the issue of climate change was becoming increasingly "important". The note claimed: "e believe smart investors and companies will recognize the edge they can gain by understanding low carbon trends." I couldn't agree more with that statement. It was no coincidence that on that same day the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a non-profit UK-based organization that surveys public companies each year on the state of their climate change awareness, was...

GE’s big bet on natural gas

Marc Gunther General Electric Co. (GE) is betting big on natural gas. The $150-billion a year company, whose power plants generate about one-fourth of the world’s electricity, today announced a new natural-gas power plant that it says is more efficient and flexible than any other in the market. By phone from Paris, where the announcement was made, Steve Bolze, president of GE Power & Water, told me:  “This is about transforming the industry over the next five or 10 years.” GE says it invested more than $500 million in the new plant development. It will be manufactured in...

Wind and Heat Pumps: A Winning Combination

This article has been cross-posted on The Oil Drum. Last month, I brought you some nice maps showing when and where good wind resources are found in the US.  Now I've found something better: a visual comparison of electrical load with wind farm production, published by the Western Area Power Administration in 2006.  The study compared electricity production from five wind farms in Northern Colorado, Southwestern Nebraska, and Central Wyoming in 2004, 2005, and the start of 2006, compared with electricity consumption in the same area over the same time period. Comparison of Wind Production to...

Trading Strategy Around Lime Energy’s Possible Feb 2 Delisting

Tom Konrad Several readers have asked me if I still recommend buying Lime Energy (NASD:LIME) now that it looks like the company could be delisted from NASDAQ on February 2nd.  I won’t go into the details of why, when, or how, since John Downey has done an excellent job of covering that in the Charlotte Business Journal. Instead, I’ll look at the various possible scenarios, and how it will likely be best to trade the stock.  To understand what will happen, we first have to decide A) will Lime’s appeal against delisting be granted? and B) Will Lime be able to...

Hunting for Energy Efficiency Companies at the Energy Star Summit

Most studies show that the greatest potential for reducing our carbon emissions comes from energy efficiency technologies.  And, unlike many renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency is almost always less expensive than developing new energy sources, so energy efficiency businesses can be profitable now, and still have a large potential upside which will come with regulatory efforts to reduce our carbon emissions and rising energy prices. Unfortunately, the reason this free lunch exists is because selling and implementing energy efficiency technologies isn't easy.  It's also much more difficult to find companies that profit from energy efficiency than those that produce...

The LED Gold Rush

Tom Konrad CFA Last week, a prominent display of $10 LED light bulbs from Cree, Inc. (NASD:CREE) arrested my attention as I entered a home improvement store. These were officially launched in March, and are similar to a 40 watt-equivalent bulb I bought in 2009.  I still have that bulb, which I use for outdoor lighting, because Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) take too long to warm up in the winter.  It’s still going strong.  The only problem: it cost $50, and used as much energy as a CFL for the same amount of light. Four years later, we have...

Wal-Mart Goes Green: The World’s First Quintuple Play

Jim Fitzpatrick Watching baseball's first quadruple play was strange. Seeing Wal-Mart (WMT) go green is stranger still. First the baseball: The scene was a game of T-Ball, where everyone bats every inning, regardless of the number of outs. The bases were loaded when a line drive ended up in the glove of the pitcher. While he wondered how it got there, all the runners took off without tagging up. The pitcher ran to third, then second, then first. We kept counting the number of outs and they did not add up. First in our heads:...

Distributed Energy Systems to Add $3.4 Million Cogeneration Power System to Transamerica Pyramid Building

Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) has been awarded a $3.4 million contract by AEGON USA Realty Advisors. Under the agreement, they will install and commission a 1.1 megawatt (MW) combined heat and power (CHP) system for the landmark Transamerica Pyramid at 600 Montgomery Street in San Francisco, California. The 48-story building, managed by Lowe Enterprises, is known as the "Pyramid," and is located in the heart of San Francisco's financial district.

Ameresco, New Flyer, PFB: Q1 Efficiency Earnings Highlights

Tom Konrad CFA Performance contractor Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) reported earnings on May 9th. Revenues were below analyst expectations, but Chairman, CEO, and President George Sakellaris put this down to timing issues, and stuck by his full year guidance. Strong growth in the firm’s backlog and awarded project’s seem to back up this relatively optimistic view.  From the earnings call transcript e are very confident about the improving market conditions in few of our regions, as well as continued growth in our all other offerings. These are expected to be the growth drivers for the near-term. We are also...