Solar Power’s Bum Rap Is Your Buy Signal
Wall Street’s lemmings keep getting it wrong about solar power. First, solar was dismissed as the pipe dream of tree-hugging hippies. Now, solar stocks are getting clobbered under the assumption that the new Trump administration will favor fossil fuels at the expense of clean energy.
If you believe any of that malarkey, you’ll miss one of the most exciting investment opportunities to come along in decades. Below we pinpoint our two favorite solar power plays, which are ridiculously cheap now as investors dump solar stocks in the wake of Trump’s shocking victory. Projected one-year gains for these unfairly punished stocks are 59% and 43%, respectively. We’ll give you the details in a minute.
But get this straight: solar power no longer cares about the price of crude oil. The infrastructure for the solar industry has grown wide and deep, leading to a “price decoupling” of solar and fossil fuels. Solar and other renewable energies are now part of the energy status quo and no longer need high oil and gas prices to attract users.
Put aside the “emotionalism” of the election…
Since November 9, the benchmark VanEck Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSE: KWT) has fallen 2.19% and it has declined 43.32% year to date, compared to gains of 2.11% and 7.07% respectively for the S&P 500.
Not helping the perception of solar’s prospects was the spectacular bankruptcy earlier this year of SunEdison, which crashed like the Hindenburg after it got overextended from acquiring other “green” energy producers.
But if you tune out the conventional wisdom and examine the facts, you’ll realize that the time is ripe to scoop up undervalued solar stocks.
Ari Charney, chief investment strategist of Utility Forecaster writes:
“Lost amid all the emotionalism following the election’s unexpected outcome is the fact that the U.S. is already well on its way toward generating cleaner energy, regardless of future policymaking…
And it also misses the fact that federal regulation isn’t the only source of environmental mandates. Indeed, utilities have already made great strides toward generating cleaner energy in response to state-level mandates and incentives. Those that existed prior to any efforts to comply with the CPP are unlikely to go away.”
You should listen to Ari, our in-house expert on electric power generation, instead of the talking heads on CNBC who simply regurgitate sound bites. The false narrative making the rounds these days is that Trump will kill solar to boost oil and gas exploration and production, but that’s a facile assumption.
Solar power’s customers are increasingly dependent on inexpensive, reliable power from the sun and see no reason to switch. Our analysts predict that the solar industry’s sunniest days lie ahead, as major developing countries such as China plow considerable resources into renewable energy and the price of photovoltaic (PV) cells continues to plummet.
Linda McDonough, chief investment strategist of Profit Catalyst Alert, puts it this way:
“Investors are often compared to lemmings. In tumultuous times they’ve been known to blindly follow others off a cliff. When an industry is undergoing tremendous secular change, investors often buy or sell all stocks in that group without regard to each one’s fundamentals or valuation. These wholesale purges or binges offer investors incredible opportunities… The solar industry, once the belle of the ball, has been sent to the dungeon by investors.”
All of which brings us to a superb solar stock that’s selling at a deep discount: Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ).
With a market cap of $677.85 million, Canadian Solar produces solar ingots, wafers, cells, modules, and integrated power systems. The company’s valuation is large enough to provide the financial wherewithal to weather volatility, but small enough to confer the outsized capital appreciation that often eludes large-cap companies.
One foot in China, the other in North America…
Here’s what we really love about Canadian Solar: the company is officially based in Ontario, Canada, but the vast majority of its manufacturing facilities are located in China. This dual presence is a shrewd strategy, because it allows the company to keep overhead low by manufacturing in China but it prevents many of the headaches (and transparency issues) of investing in a China-headquartered entity.
Leveraging its strength as a vertically integrated, low-cost producer of solar energy components and systems, Canadian Solar is targeting growth opportunities in emerging markets as well as developed countries in the euro zone. Europe’s growth engine Germany, which is embracing green energy and vows to shutter all nuclear plants, is a major customer.
With a trailing 12-month price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of only 4.4, Canadian Solar is absurdly cheap compared to the trailing P/E of 75.2 for the specialized semiconductor industry.
Canadian Solar’s stock now trades at about $12.19. The average analyst consensus for a one-year price target is about $19.34, for a gain of nearly 59%.
Here’s a mid-cap solar bet…and it’s poised for a 43% gain
If you prefer a safer solar stock with a larger valuation, consider First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR). With a market cap of $3.45 billion, First Solar is the industry leader and historically has shown the most stability in an industry typically made up of smaller, riskier players.
This mid-cap company is evolving from a mere supplier of solar technology to a strategic builder of giant utility-scale grids that produce solar power at lower cost due to economies of scale. As the largest and most established solar company, First Solar is safer than its counterparts. But like Canadian Solar, it’s poised for big double-digit gains.
First Solar’s stock now trades at about $33.11. The average analyst consensus for a one-year price target is $47.33, for a gain of nearly 43%. And yet, with a trailing P/E of only 6.78, First Solar is a bargain, too.
The upshot: Put aside any preconceptions that solar power is the impractical dream of the Birkenstock-wearing acolytes of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Although the industry is getting beaten down in the aftermath of the presidential election, solar power is positioned to resume a long-term boom that should continue generating market-thumping gains into 2017 and beyond.
How can this be possible?
As the solar industry’s fortunes ebb and flow with political currents, master trader Jim Fink has been collecting steady “paychecks” of $1,150, and $1,500, even $2,800… every single week.
Jim is the chief investment strategist of Options for Income and he’s devised a “profit calendar” that delivers weekly payments straight to readers’ accounts.
If you want to get in on the action, Jim is ready to answer all of your questions. He’s created a presentation that reveals exactly how his simple technique works and what you need to do to earn your first “paycheck” using it. But you only have until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to watch.
Job One: Making you moolah…
I received this email yesterday from a reader:
I enjoyed reading your excellent coverage, as well as appreciate your stating you don’t take political sides and that your job #1 is making us moolah. That’s what it needs to be about. Also thanks very much for the standout beneficiaries.
Cheers, Jon Day
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