The Status of The Yieldco

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Last week I delivered the keynote at Yieldcon USA, a conference put on by Solar Plaza entirely focused on Yieldcos. (Yieldcos are companies that own clean energy assets such as solar and wind farms and use the cash flows to pay a high rate of current income to investors.) Given all that's gone on in the space in the last few weeks, the conference could not have been more timely. You can find the presentation here and embedded below:

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...

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...

Yieldcos: Calling The Bottom

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA On a podcast recorded on September 14th, I said I thought that Yieldco stocks had bottomed at the end of September.  Two weeks later, that call still looks like a good one (see chart.) I'm starting to hear optimistic noises from other Yieldco observers, although the general tone remains quite bearish. Why do I think September 29th was the likely bottom? End of quarter.  Some institutional investors such as mutual funds reshuffle their portfolios at the end of the quarter so that they don't have...

Green Asset-Backed Bond From Hannon Armstrong Has Measured GHG Savings

by the Climate Bonds Team Hannon Armstrong’s (HASI) second green ABS, $118.6m, will save 0.39 tons of GHG annually per $1,000!  ($100.5m, 4.28%, 19 yr, A and $18.1m, 5.00%, 19 yr, BBB) Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI) closed its second green ABS bond (Sustainable Yield Bond) following its inaugural issuance in December 2013. The ABS was a private placement split into two tranches with different credit ratings (from Kroll Bond Credit Rating Agency): $100.5m with a rating of A and 4.28% interest rate, and $18.1m with a rating of BBB and 5.00% interest rate. Both tranches have a 19-year tenor....

US Yieldcos Will Survive

by Susan Kraemer As unrealistic expectations of dividend growth are scaled back, yieldcos are now on a more sustainable path. Weaknesses in the US yieldco model came into sharp relief this summer as share prices fell along with oil and gas stocks. This was in part due to investor confusion about energy stocks but also in response to a flaw in US yieldco expectations. Manager of the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio and AltEnergyStocks.com editor Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA had warned of the looming potential for exactly this kind of market correction in a conversation a...

YieldCo Bubble: The Aftermath

Readers may be interested in listening to this podcast. Where Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann of GreenTechMedia speak with me about the current YieldCo landscape. Follow this link to The Interchange Podcast. -Tom Konrad, Editor

Green Bonds From Terraform Global, SolarCity, and Hannon Armstrong

by the Climate Bonds Team Yieldco TerraForm Global (GLBL) issues a whopping $810m green bond (7 years, 9.75%, B2/B+) TerraForm Global Operating has issued an $810m green bond, with 7-year tenor, 9.75% coupon and ratings of B2 and B+ from Moodys and S&P respectively. TerraForm Global is a recent yieldco spin off (IPO last month) of SunEdison (SUNE) group (have a look here if the yieldco concept is new to you). Terraform Global owns and operates renewable energy assets - solar, wind and hydro - in emerging markets, in the following locations: Solar: China, India, South Africa,...

New Green Bonds From Terraform And Goldwind

by the Climate Bonds Team Second green bond from TerraForm to finance wind power acquisition, $300m 10yr, 6.125% s/a coupon, BB-/B1 TerraForm Power Operating , the yieldco spin off from SunEdison , has issued a second green bond shortly after tapping its inaugural green bond for a further $150m (making their first green bond a whopping $950m!). The new $300m green bond has 10-year tenor and semi-annual coupon of 6.125%, and was issued in the US private placement market. It is sub-investment grade with a rating of BB- from S&P and B1...

Recent Green Bonds: Toyota Hybrids, SunRun, Efficient Homes and Data Centers

by the Climate Bonds Team Last month Toyota closed their second green bond for a whopping $1.25bn. Standard auto loans backed the issuance with proceeds to be used for electric and hybrid car loans; that means it’s more like a corporate green bond, where proceeds from a bond backed by existing (non-green) assets are directed green loans still to be made. Sunrun issued $111m of solar ABS, and a small unlabelled energy efficiency ABS was also issued by Renew Financial and Citi for $12.58m. Sunrun and Citi/Renew Financial are examples of ABS where the assets backing the issuance...

CAFD: Don’t Let The Joke Be On You

Tom Konrad CFA Sunpower and First Solar are indulging in nerd jokes.  Their YieldCo, called 8point3 Energy Partners had its initial public offering on June 19th. The name is an astronomy nerd joke and a reference to the time it takes the sun's rays to reach the Earth, 8.3 minutes. Last week, we found out that its ticker symbol is CAFD, a "financial nerd joke" because it stands for "cash available for distribution."  CAFD is an important YieldCo metric, but it's not a perfect one. If you're not a financial nerd but are interested in...

How Much Can YieldCo Dividends Grow?

Tom Konrad CFA U.S.-listed YieldCos seem to offer the best of two worlds: high income from dividends, combined with high dividend per share growth. YieldCos are listed companies that own clean energy assets, and like the real estate investment trusts (REITs) and master limited partnerships (MLPs) they are modeled after, they return almost all the income from their investments to their shareholders in the form of dividends. Unlike REITs and MLPs, however, U.S.-listed YieldCos have management targets to deliver double-digit per-share dividend growth. YieldCos shown are NRG Yield (NYLD), Abengoa Yield (ABY), TerraForm Power...

Are YieldCos Overpaying for Their Assets?

Tom Konrad CFA YieldCos buy and own clean energy projects with the intent of using the resulting cash flows to pay a high dividend to their investors.  Several such companies, often captive subsidiaries of listed project developers, have listed on U.S. markets since 2013. So far, YieldCos have been a win-win: The developers that list YieldCos have gained access to inexpensive capital, and income investors have gotten access to a new asset class paying stable and growing dividends.  So far, they have also gained from significant stock price appreciation. The seven U.S.-listed YieldCos are up...

My Yieldco Raised Its Dividend With This Weird Trick

Tom Konrad CFA Clean energy yieldcos buck the general trend by paying out a large proportion of cash flow to investors, and rapidly increasing their dividends at the same time.  The key to this trick has been their rapidly appreciating stock prices. High yield companies generally grow slowly, while high growth companies have low dividend yields. Normal companies grow by investing some profits in new business opportunities.  Early stage growth companies typically retain all their earnings to invest in new business.  More mature companies have fewer opportunities, and so share a larger proportion of...

Green Bond Market Heats Up After Slow Start To 2015

$7.2 billion of green bonds issued.  Market shows signs of maturity, including more currencies, and non-investment grade bonds.  Emerging market green bonds are ramping up, while green munis are booming. by Tess Olsen-Rong, Climate Bonds Market Analyst The first three months of 2015 (Q1) have seen 44 green bond deals totalling $7.2bn of issuance. After relatively low issuance in January the amount of green bonds issued has been climbing each month, with March three times bigger than January. This year will be the biggest year ever for green bonds: there’s a healthy pipeline of bonds in the...
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