Ormat: A Bargain Green Stock?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Everybody likes a bargain.  Investors really like a good cheap buy.  A review of our four alternative energy industries revealed several stocks trading below industry average multiples of forecasted earnings.   Tracking the geothermal power generators has frequently taken us to the door of Ormat Technologies, Inc. (ORA:  NYSE).  Ormat has two revenue segments:  power generation through geothermal generators and energy recovery and equipment sales to utility and industrial customers installing geothermal power plants.  The company owns and operates plants with 626 megawatts generating power and has supplied equipment around the world for another...

Outlook for Geothermal Energy Stocks in 2011

Tom Konrad CFA My take-aways from the GEA Finance Forum After a long time lost in the proverbial desert of high capital costs and few financiers willing to step up, a number of geothermal companies made breakthroughs last fall.  The Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees for geothermal power development began to come through, and financiers were beginning to step up.  Nevada Geothermal Power (NGLPF.OB) announced a deal with Ormat (ORA) in which Ormat will earn a share of Nevada Geothermal's Crump Geyser property by paying for and financing most of the development costs,...

US Geothermal: Wringing Profits From Hot Rocks

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week I spent the better part of a day listening to presentations of energy companies at the Wall Street Analyst Forum in New York.  Although I had heard the management of  US Geothermal (HTM: NYSE) tell the company’s story before, I was impressed to hear about the progress the company has made in squeezing profits from electricity produced with turbines run by underground steam.  Management called it gratifying! The company reported $31 million in sales in the year 2014, delivering $14.9 million in net income to the bottom line.  That is something...

Raser Technologies (RZ): A Bargain, or Just Cheap?

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Raser Technologies (NYSE:RZ) stock has fallen almost 50% since the company announce an offering of shares on June 30.  Although the round quickly filled, the stock continued falling, and it seems like a screaming deal.  Is it? On July 7, Raser Technologies sold $25.5M of stock and warrants in a secondary offering.  According to press reports, this amounted to 13% of Raser's stock, thereby valuing the company at (very approximately) $200M, or $175M pre-money.   The units, each consisting of 1 share and 1/2 a warrant exercisable at $4.62 was offered at $2.98. ...

Waterfurnace 7 Series vs. Climatemaster Trilogy Geothermal Heat Pumps: The Best of the Best

UPDATE: I just looked into the 7 Series vs the Trilogy 40 in more detail here and came to a slightly different conclusion. Tom Konrad CFA Geothermal heat pump diagram via Bigstock Waterfurnace Renewable Energy (TSX:WFI, OTC:WFIFF) launched its new highly efficient 7 Series geothermal heat pumps (GHP) today.  The 7 Series commercial release beats Climatemaster’s (a division of LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU)) Trilogy 40 as the first commercially available GHP with a variable speed compressor.  The Trilogy 40 is currently available as part of a pilot program, and is expected to be commercially available...

$3 Billion For Cleantech & Alt Energy

Charles Morand The DOE made public earlier today the amount of money that will awarded to clean power projects in lieu of the usual tax breaks: $3 billion. This will allow project proponents to receive a direct cash grant now instead of a Production Tax Credit or an Investment Tax Credit later on. The guidance document notes the following: "Section 1603 of the Act’s tax title, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, appropriates funds for payments to persons who place in service specified energy property during 2009 or 2010 or after 2010 if construction began...

Blue Mountain Disappoints; Nevada Geothermal Power Looks Like a Takeover Target

Tom Konrad CFA Which company might snatch battered Nevada Geothermal Power out of the scratch-and-dent bin for a song? When Raser Technologies (RZTIQ.OB) declared bankruptcy at the end of April, I shrugged it off.  I saw the writing on the wall for Raser in September 2009, when they failed to get a DOE loan guarantee.  But part of the letdown also had to do with resource risk: the company was producing consistently less power from their 10MW (rated) Thermo plant than expected. Early in 2011, Ram Power (RPG.TO, RAMPF.PK) stock was clobbered when they announced construction...

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...

Ormat No Longer Stands Alone

Tom Konrad, CFA The market for Organic Rankin Cycle geothermal turbines has become competitive. In my October 2010 profile of geothermal industry leader Ormat Technologies (ORA), I quoted a conversation I'd had with a Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) representative in 2006, where she told me that Ormat stood head and shoulders above all the other geothermal players.  As the only truly vertically integrated geothermal developer, with in-house exploration, drilling, turbine technology, and operations, Ormat is still unique among geothermal companies.  But not too long ago their Organic Rankin Cycle turbines (which they call Ormat Energy...

Holiday Shopping Deal On Ram Power Shares

Tom Konrad CFA Holders of Ram Power Corp. (TSX:RPG, OTC:RAMPF) on November 26 (the “record date”) will be receiving valuable coupons as the result of the company’s rights offering, announced November 18th. Just in time for the holidays, these coupons, or “rights” can be used to buy additional shares of Ram Power for 8¢ Canadian per share any time before  5pm on December 23rd. (Disclosure: I am long Ram Power stock.) Holiday shoppers looking for more traditional gifts will be able to raise a little cash by selling the rights on the Toronto Stock Exchange,...

Closing the Geothermal Loop

by Debra Fiakas CFA Calpine Plant at The Geysers.  Photo Source: Calpine In the article “Is Ormat Technologies Misunderstood?”, I outlined a few performance measurement issues, but left out of the story Ormat’s position in the relative position in the geothermal industry.  Naturally I received comments from readers about why I made no comparison of Ormat to Calpine Corporation (CPN:  NYSE), the largest U.S. generator of electrical power using geothermal sources.  On a go-forward basis Calpine shares are valued about the same as Ormat Technologies,...

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...

U.S. Geothermal, Inc (AMEX: HTM)

US Geothermal, Inc. (AMEX:HTM) ) is one of only two pure-play geothermal power companies traded on US exchanges.  The other is Ormat (NYSE:ORA), a vertically integrated company widely considered to be the industry leader.  As baseload, extremely reliable power, Geothermal fits easily into utilities existing grids, making it a popular source of green power, especially with utilities uncomfortable with the intermittent and difficult to predict nature of wind and solar.   Unlike wind and solar, the potential resource for geothermal power is quite small relative to electricity demand. At least until Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology is commercialized,...

FPL Group in Talks to Buy Constellation Energy Group

FPL Group Inc (FPL) is currently in the advanced stages of negotiations to acquire Constellation Energy Group (CEG). An FPL-Constellation merger would create a giant East Coast-based utility with a market capitalization, based on Tuesday's closing stock prices, of $26.97 billion - $16.93 billion for FPL and $10.04 billion for Constellation. Constellation Energy Group is based out of Baltimore Maryland and is the holding company for Baltimore Gas and Electric. They also have an extensive presence in the wholesale power supply and generation business. The Power Generation Division currently uses 4.6% alternative sources for power generation. ...

The Magma/Plutonic Merger

A Great Deal for Plutonic Shareholders, Not bad for Magma Tom Konrad CFA As a shareholder of Magma Energy Corp. (MGMXF.PK), I'm reading through the joint information circular on the proposed merger of Plutonic Power Corp (PUOPF.PK) and Magma to form "Alterra Power Corp." I'm not thrilled with the merger, although I plan to vote for it, now that it's arranged. Overall, I think the merged Alterra will be a stronger company than either company alone. Both companies are in capital intensive niche Renewable Energy industries, so the added scale and diversification of Alterra should better...

Geothermal Stocks Overview

Tom Konrad CFA Geothermal power generation has several advantages over higher profile alternative energy such as wind and solar, but gets much less attention.  Part of the lack of recognition for Geothermal power arises from a confusion with the technology variously called Geoexchange, Ground Source Heat Pump, or Geothermal Heat Pumps.  Geoexchange uses the near constant temperature of the soil a few feet to a few hundred feet below the ground to heat and cool a building.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Geoexchange is the most efficient way to heat and cool a building, and...
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