10 Green Energy Gambles for 2010: Update I

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 |  Includes: AAL, BTUUQ, CNX, DAL, DIA, EWW, HOT, JBHT, LUV, PEFF
by: Tom Konrad, CFA

A quick update of last month's list of speculative puts, to reflect the new options symbols.

In January, I put together a list of nine puts and one small energy efficiency stock I expect to do well this year. I normally only do updates on these every quarter, but because of the recent change in option symbols, I thought I'd revisit my 10 Green Energy Gambles. The links in the original article have stopped working; this new table shows the current list.

Here's the list: with updated option symbols.

Security Portfolio
Weight
Underlying 1/9/10* 2/11/10* Gain
EWW Jan 2011 $30 Put 20% iShares Mexico (EWW) $0.825 $1.00 21%
CHK Jan 2011 $17.5 Put 7% Chesapeake Energy (CHK) $0.865 $1.225 41%
DAL Jan 2011 $7.5 Put 7% Delta Airlines (DAL) $0.975 $0.925 -6%
AMR Jan 2011 $5 Put 7% AMR Corp (AMR) $0.85 $0.68 -20%
LUV Jan 2011 $7.5 Put 7% Southwest (LUV) $0.50 $0.35 -30%
CNX Jan 2011 $35 Put 7% Consol Energy (CNX) $2.325 $3.20 37%
BTU Jan 2011 $30 Put 6% Peabody Energy (BTU) $1.45 $2.12 46%
HOT Jan 2011 $25 Put 10% Starwood Hotels (HOT) $1.725 $1.65 -5%
JBHT Jan 2011 $20 Put 10% JB Hunt (JBHT) $0.65 $0.70 8%
Power Efficiency Corp 20% $0.275 $0.275 -2%
Portfolio 100% 8.4%
Benchmark
DIA Jan 2011 75.000 put 80% DIAMONDs (DIA) $1.49 1.885 27%
Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy (NYSEARCA:PBW) 20% $11.74 $9.53 -19%
Benchmark 100% 17.4%
Click to enlarge

* Prices given are the midpoint between the bid and ask at the close on the given date.

After a little over a month, it's too early to draw any conclusions about the portfolio's performance. I'm naturally happy that the portfolio is up, but disappointed with its performance relative to the benchmark. On the other hand, I don't know any theory behind benchmarking options portfolios, let alone mixed option and stock portfolios.

Anyway, it's nice that the portfolio is up for the month, so I shouldn't complain that I'm not meeting my self-imposed benchmark.

For those of you keeping score at home, my long-only Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2010 portfolio is down 5% since December 27, 2009, compared to a drop of 14% for PBW and a drop of 4% for the Russell 3000 index. The simplified version of the portfolio, which substitutes the ETFs PTRP and GRID for six of the stocks is down 8%.

DISCLOSURE: Short EWW, DAL, AMR, LUV, CNX, BTU, HOT, JBHT, DIA. Long PEFF.