Graphene Stock Investing: What The Pros Think

Tom Konrad CFA Flexible Graphene Sheet image via BigStock  Graphene is a crystalline form of carbon in which carbon atoms are arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern. It is very strong, light, and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It is also nearly transparent. New laboratory  techniques for creating large sheets of graphene, including a roll-to-roll production process, have triggered an explosion of research into new practical applications taking advantage of graphene’s unique properties. Some potential cleantech applications are solar cells, ultracapacitors, water filtration and...
smart roadway infographic

Roadway Revolution: Meet the Smart Highways of the Future

by Giles Kirkland Even though many states seem to enter the “construction season” every spring, there’s still a significant backlog of vital repairs and improvements needed for state roads, interstates and bridges – around $420 billion worth as of 2017. Not only are our roads falling apart, there are greater numbers of people in more vehicles on them. But what if, instead of simply following same repaving or rebuilding formula that never seems to catch up, municipalities get “smarter” with their fixes? Smart cars use the newest technologies to save energy, improve safety, and assist in navigation. Missing from many of the...

Minimizing a Key Threat: State of the Union Address 2012

Garvin Jabusch Americans, rightly, prefer specifics and plans, as opposed to rhetorical vision and platitudes, from their president in their State of the Union addresses. We couldn't agree more, so here are our thoughts about President Obama's 2012 address, with respect to our area, the next economy and investing therein. President Barack Obama delivers the 2012 State of the Union Address (Image source: whitehouse.gov) Two years ago, President Obama in his State of the Union Address said, "The nation that leads the clean energy economy will lead the global economy and America must be that...

Earnings Season – Alternative Energy Stocks to Watch

By Harris Roen Some 44 companies active in alternative energy have reported earnings in January 2013. Results have been all over the map, so it is important for alternative energy investors to know where to be cautious, and where the best potential profits are to be found. Below is a summary of selected earnings results from alternative energy companies that the Roen Financial Report tracks. Date Linear Technology Corporation (LLTC) More Info 1/15 Earnings came in on target for this integrated circuit company, but EPS were down 16%...

Cleantech Venture Capitalists are Human Too

David Gold Sectors like solar, biofuels and smart grid have received a significant overweighting of venture capital investment compared to other sectors. Is this because they are better investment opportunities or because venture capitalists (VCs), being human, invest in what they know and who they know? While many entrepreneurs may not believe it, VCs are human, too. In my last post, “Human Capital, Not Venture Capital, the Biggest Cleantech Need,” I discussed how the greatest challenge today to growing a successful early-stage cleantech business is the shortage of successful, experienced cleantech entrepreneurs. But finding the right...

Sprott’s Peak Oil Watch

While browsing the web this morning, I came across a very interesting section on Peak Oil on Sprott Asset Management's website (best viewed with Explorer). Sprott Asset Management is a Toronto-based boutique investment management company that I consider, for lack of a better term, pretty cool. They have taken some relatively unorthodox commodities bets in the past and have often won them. For instance, they spotted the bull market in uranium very early on and did well as a result (PDF document). There are many web-based Peak Oil resources out there, so you may wonder why I decided...

60 Minutes Reply: Cleantech Rocks

On Sunday, January 5, 60 Minutes aired a piece on the cleantech space. In the days that followed, I have had interesting conversations with clients about what was broadcast to 7.4 million viewers. Those discussions reinforced my belief that 60 minutes missed the mark and inspired me to write this blog on why cleantech is essential, massive, vibrant, and desired. Cleantech is essential. We recently took fifteen clients to China on our annual tour, and the Beijing Air Quality index (AQI) of PM2.5 read above 200 on multiple days. The average AQI in Los Angeles, California, through 2009...

Increasing Risk in Renewable Energy Investing

Garey Vasey, Ph.D. at Risk Center brings us a cautionary warning from the U.K. Financial Services Authority about the increasing risks of commodity investing, largely due to greater investor interest (at all levels from individuals to banks to hedgefunds) without enough true experience in this sector. I feel this same lesson applies to Renewable Energy investing. The higher these stocks rise on a tide of investor enthusiasm (as opposed to earnings fundamentals), the greater the potential for a fall. Among his other points, he says: The best and most knowledgeable energy trading talent was picked off...

The Rare Earth Supply Chain: Ores, Concentrates, Compounds, Oxides and Metals

REE Refining 101 by Kidela Capital Group “There is a reason why the Rare Earths are called rare. They’re not called rare because they’re truly rare. They’re called rare because it’s very difficult to isolate these elements individually and it takes a lot of skill to do that.” Constantine Karayannopoulos, chief executive of Neo Material Technologies1 Rare Earth Elements have become an indispensable part of modern life, found in everyday items like computers, camera lenses and high efficiency light bulbs to complex, emerging technologies in the optics, medical and defence spheres....

Graftech: On Graphite Coattails

by Debra Fiakas CFA Graftech makes graphite products like this crucible for traditional industries, and is expanding its products for alternative energy industries. Photo by Vladnov Graftech International Ltd. (GTI:  NYSE) has been in business over a hundred years, supplying graphite materials and products to the steel industry and other manufacturers.  Most investors would put Graftech on a list of ‘dirty’ companies, not with alternative energy leaders.  However, with technological innovation Graftech has found new customers for its graphite materials.  Fuel cell components, wind turbine...

AltEnergyStocks.com’s Ten Best Competitors

When I began writing about clean energy investing in 2006, my competition was sparse.  The quality blogs with industry heavyweights were either not focused on investing, or were primarily focused on venture capital.  Now the world has changed.  I keep finding new blogs and writers with a strong focus on both clean energy and public companies.  Here are a few I'd like to share with readers: Dedicated Blogs Energy Tech Stocks - Three articles a day can be a little daunting, but that's what happens when you try to cover everything. Camino Energy - Their PurePlay indices are a...

Watt’s Watt?

Watts are standard, but the way we talk and write about them is not.

How to Measure the Next Economy?

Garvin Jabusch In search of a sucessor to the Global Industry Classification Standard The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is the framework within which finance types organize companies and their stocks into industries and sectors. You've heard the names for these groups many times: energy, transportation, materials, commercial services, etc. These divisions have been useful in attempting "to enhance the investment research and asset management process for financial professionals worldwide" (mscibarra.com, 3/2010). And, for a while, GICS did a decent job of keeping portfolio managers, investment advisors and their clients reasonably well organized in their thinking about...

Crude Oil & Alt Energy: The Non-Relationship That Just Won’t Go Away

Charles Morand The relationship - or lack thereof - between oil prices and the performance of alt energy stocks has been a long-time interest of mine. I discussed it last in late March when I looked at correlations between the daily returns of alt energy and fossil energy ETFs. At the time, I found that only a weak relationship existed between the two and that if someone wanted to make a thematic investment play on Peak Oil, alt energy ETFs were not an ideal way to do so.  Seeing as the popular press and countless "experts"...

Molycorp: Holding a Stinky Bag

by Debra Fiakas CFA   Last week news agencies reported plans by Molycorp (MCPIQ:  NYSE) to move forward with plans to sell major assets as part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy.  Molycorp was the single largest producer of rare earths in the U.S. until it discontinued product at its Mountain Pass mine in Colorado.  Molycorp filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2015 after it became apparent that it could no longer support the debt on its balance sheet on historically low selling prices for its rare earth materials. The turn of the tide for Molycorp...

Apologies For The Lack Of Posting

We wish to apologize for the lack of posting in the past few days. Tom has been on holidays and I have been very busy with work. We will be back with our normal posting schedule tomorrow. Best, Charles