New Flyer also received a $375,000 grant to work with a local community college to train employees at its St. Cloud Minnesota facility to build its new mid-size ("Midi") buses. The company also paid its normal C$0.04875 monthly dividend.
Energy performance contracting firm Ameresco started the year strong, but has since fallen back, seemingly in sympathy with the broader market decline. From the steady stream of contract announcements, it seems to me like the company's pace of business may be picking up a little, but since the size of contracts varies widely, I'm far from confident about this.
Ameresco also announced a new tool using wireless sensing technology to allow a building's controls to learn occupant behaviors and adapt energy use accordingly. A pilot test in a commercial office building produced 18% energy savings. I speculate that it might be possible to apply this tool to buildings under both future and existing performance contracts, which should improve their profitability to Ameresco and/or allow them to be offered to clients at more competitive prices.
Power REIT was up strongly at the start of the month and had since held on to its gains. The company's CEO, David Lesser, tells me that he thinks much of the gains have been due to his efforts getting the company's story out there in conjunction with the offering of 7.75% Cumulative Preferred stock. The proceeds from this offering will be used to provide the equity portion of the company's most recent solar land purchase, as well as another potential acquisition, if that deal is executed successfully. The company is seeking bank financing for the balance of the second deal and the refinancing of the bridge loans on the earlier deal.
Current shareholders and non-accredited investors are eligible to participate in the Preferred stock offering, which should appeal to income investors. While cash dividends on the preferred will not be paid until the civil action with Norfolk Southern (NSC) and Wheeling and Lake Erie (WLE) is resolved, the rent payable under NSC and WLE's interpretation of the lease should be sufficient to both pay off Power REIT's legal bills and allow the company to catch up with the cumulative preferred dividends.
A South Africa based global provider of software as a service fleet and mobile asset management, MiX Telematics initially rose but then sold off in the last couple weeks along with the general emerging market decline. There was no significant news, but I thought this report from MiX on when and why drivers speed was interesting.
Like Primary Energy, I was planning on writing an in-depth article on MiX based on a CEO interview, but the company preferred to delay an interview until after its third quarter conference call coming on February 6th. I expect to write that article later this month.
10. Alterra Power Corp. (TSX:AXY, OTC:MGMXF)
Current Price: C$0.29 12/26/2013 Price: C$0.28. Annual Yield: N/A. Low Target: C$0.20. High Target: C$0.60.
YTD Total C$ Return: 1.8% . YTD Total US$ Return: -1.8%.
Renewable energy developer and operator Alterra Power expanded its joint venture with Philippine geothermal power developer Energy Development Corp. to the rest of its Peruvian geothermal projects. This is in line with Alterra's recent strategy of focusing on core projects and either disposing of other assets or developing them with funds from joint venture partners, as is the case here.
Two Speculative Penny Stocks for 2014
Ram Power Corp (TSX:RPG, OTC:RAMPF)
Current Price: C$0.065 12/26/2013 Price: C$0.08. Annual Yield: N/A. Low Target: C$0.20. High Target: C$0.60.
YTD Total C$ Return: -18% . YTD Total US$ Return: -22%.
Geothermal power developer Ram completed the remediation of its San Jacinto-Tizate project on January 22nd, although the company did not provide any indication of how successful the remediation was. Management reiterated that the drilling is expected to increase output by 9 to 14 MW. The results of a plant capacity test are expected in March.
Finavera Wind Energy (TSX-V:FVR, OTC:FNVRF)
Current Price: C$0.105 12/26/2013 Price: C$0.08. Annual Yield: N/A. Low Target: C$0.20. High Target: C$0.60.
YTD Total C$ Return: 40% . YTD Total US$ Return: 35%.
There was no news for wind project developer Finavera, and the increase seems most likely to be a low-volume recovery from a share price depressed by tax loss selling at the end of 2013.
My picks and clean energy in general have mostly held up will during the sell off so far this year. The income stocks at the start of the list should hold up well in a market sell off, while many of the riskier stocks later in the list are more likely to be driven by company events than broad market moves. The exceptions are Ameresco and MiX, which will probably continue to follow broader market trends, hopefully with an upward bias.
Disclosure: Long HASI, PFB, CSE, ACCEL, NFI, PRI, AMRC, MIXT, PW, AXY, RPG, FVR.
DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results. This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.
This article was originally published on AltEnergy Stocks and was republished with permission.