A Sign Of The Times

Alt energy investors figured out early on in this crisis that a widespread shut-down of credit markets coupled with a substantial re-pricing of risk would not bode well for the industry. That's why alt energy stocks have outdone the overall market to the downside over the past year, with the iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index (ICLN) down more than 60% Vs. the S&P 500 loosing a little under 40% over the same period. Much of this carnage occurred before any real impacts on alt energy had been felt (current prices in equity markets are generally forward- rather...

Do You Need To Invest In Oil To Benefit From Expensive Oil?

Two months ago, Tom told us how he'd dipped a toe into the black stuff (i.e. bought the OIL etf) on grounds that current supply destruction related to the depressed price of crude oil would eventually lead to the same kind of supply-demand crunch that led oil to spike during the 2004 to mid-2008 period. If you need evidence that the current price of crude is wreaking havoc in the world of oil & gas exploration, look no further than Alberta and its oil sands. The oil sands contain the second largest oil reserves in the world after...

The Bailout Package & Renewable Energy

As most of you will probably know by now, the US Senate voted tonight to pass the $700 billion bailout package for the financial sector. As part of the this new version of the bill full of so-called "sweeteners", or measures meant entice certain individuals to vote in favor, lawmakers included a one-year extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind and an eight-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit for solar. Now the House must still vote on Friday, so this isn't a done deal just yet. However, although it probably won't get much attention in the...

SEC Charges Chinese Units of Five Accounting Firms; Chinese Cos Defect

Doug Young Media are buzzing with word that the US securities regulator is once again tussling with major auditors over access to the accounting records of US-listed Chinese firms, in the latest chapter of an ongoing story; but what has me more intrigued is the scramble that is probably taking place behind the scenes, as those same auditors try to figure out what they will do when the inevitable happens and they are forced to share their records with the US Securities and Exchange Administration (SEC). Right now I can imagine what is happening: the auditors, including big...

Still Renewable, Still Paying Good Dividends

Tom Konrad CFA Income investors can also invest in clean energy. Over the past four years, changes in Canadian tax law have led the renewable energy income trusts I introduced investors to in March 2007 to either be bought out like the Boralex Power Income Fund (bought by manager Boralex ) or convert to corporations like Algonquin Power and Utilities . Those that converted to corporations are still out there, and still paying good dividends.  And while a few are gone because of mergers, there are also a few new ones that I did not mention...

2013: Green Economy Inflection Point

Garvin Jabusch There are a few truths that make the fundamental case that investing in the emerging next economy is the clearest path to long term competitive portfolio performance. First, innovation – meaning improving economic output without increasing material or capital inputs - always wins. This is simply how capitalism works, money chasing the best ideas, and has been the basis of the industrial revolution. Second, successfully mitigating the worst effects of economically and societally disastrous climate change (that we're not already irreversibly committed to) will save enormous costs, provide generational investment opportunities and also be inestimably economically stimulative....

Could The G20 Deliver A Growth and Clean Energy Pact?

by Clean Energy Intel It is becoming increasingly clear that the international community fully recognizes the need to ensure that the global economy does not become engulfed by another financial crisis at this critical juncture. Developments with regard to the referendum question in Greece and the fate of MF Global make this issue particularly pressing. There is therefore significant rationale for some kind of coordinated G20 action out of the coming Cannes Summit on November 3-4th. In an article in early October, I argued that it was clearly in the interests of countries like China to aid...

Energy Efficiency and Solar Lead Alternative Energy Stocks Skyward

By Harris Roen Industry Day Week Qtr Year Energy Efficiency -0.3% 2.3% 18.7% 49.9% Environmental -0.2% 1.1% 9.8% 11.8% Fuel Alternatives -0.3% 1.3% 19.6% 29.2% Smart Grid -0.1% 2.4% 9.5% 31.9% Solar 0.5% 6.8% 40.3% 52.8% Wind 0.0% 2.1% 9.7% 21.6% Average -0.1% 2.7% 17.9% 32.9% Data as of: 7/17/2013 Alternative energy stocks are up over 30% on average for the year, reflecting impressive gains off of widely oversold lows in 2012. Almost three-quarters of...

The Buffett Shareholder Letter & Alt Energy

It is fair to say that most people continue to equate the terms "alternative" and "energy" with expensive, unreliable and plain unpractical. This naturally leads a majority of people to view alternative energy investing as a high-risk play on some unproven technology with an uncertain probability of success. This is a perception we've tried to dispel on several occasions, whether we were talking about blue chip alt energy stocks, dividend alt energy stocks or utility alt energy stocks. It's also fair to say that most people don't typically associate value investing and, by extension, ...

Cleantech Venture Capitalists Beware – What You Don’t Know About Energy Can Kill You

Oil prices quietly (at least in the cleantech world), slipped below $80 last week, off some 50% from their highs a few months ago. Did I say 50%? Yes 50%. And gas has slipped, too, as with some variations, natural gas historically trades at a roughly 10:1 price ratio of Barrels to MCF. It's easy to get caught up in the cleantech hype and forget that only 10 years ago this year oil prices fell two thirds, caught between rising supply from a decade of drilling and nasty Asian flu, triggered in part by, wait, a financial debt...

Alternative Energy Will Outperform The Market, With Storage Stocks Leading the Way

The public relations firm Waggener Edstrom released a survey of investors and analysts yesterday seeking opinions on what was in store for alternative energy for 2009 (link to the survey at the end of this article). Of the 81 respondents, 47 were institutional investors, 26 were brokerage analysts, five were from independent research firms and three were classified as "Other industry participants". Overall, 58% of respondents were from the buy side, 32% from the sell side and the remainder from "Other". Here are a few tidbits that caught my attention. Storage: The Next Boom? Overall, 50% of respondents expect...

Pop Goes the Clean Energy Stock Bubble

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA 2020 ended with a massive spike in clean energy stock prices.  From the end of October, election euphoria drove Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW) from $63.32 to $136 at the close on February 9th, a 114% gain in 100 days.   Joe Biden is as strong a supporter of clean energy as Donald Trump was a supporter of big fossil fuel companies, but even with control of the presidency and both chambers of congress, there is a limit to what a president can do in a short time.  This is especially true when their top priority...

Gas Consumption – An Image Is Worth A Thousand Words

So goes the old adage. We thought the following, recently published in The Economist of gas consumption in 2003, fully embodied the true essence of that phrase. Have a good day!

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...

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%...

Can America Regain the Rare Earths Crown?

by Kidela Capital Group A rare earth element is like air. It only seems to become important when you are running out. With China suddenly cutting back on exports while controlling 95 percent of the world’s production of rare earth elements, the United States and other countries suddenly finds themselves vulnerable. This vulnerability has to do with the stability of the supply of these strategic commodities. Countries from around the world have suddenly woken up to the realization that the future of their high technology industries could be in the hands of one supplier – China. In the...
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