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Gauging a company’s profitability can be difficult because of the many options available – one interesting idea is to compare a company’s profit margins to its industry averages. Companies with higher margins are taking a greater percentage of sales as profits, and they have tighter control over their cost structure.

We ran a screen on stocks that use or produce clean sources of energy for those with high profitability, beating their industry averages on gross, operating or pretax margins.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

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Do you think these companies are performing well? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by difference between gross margin and industry.

1. Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE:PNW): Provides retail and wholesale electric services primarily in the State of Arizona. Market cap of $5.06B. TTM gross margin at 35.41% vs. industry gross margin at 27.12%. TTM operating margin at 22.32% vs. industry operating margin at 18.46%. TTM pretax margin at 15.99% vs. industry pretax margin at 13.99%. The stock has gained 20.54% over the last year.

2. Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE:DCI): Engages in the manufacture and sale of filtration systems and replacement parts worldwide. Market cap of $5.13B. TTM gross margin at 38.30% vs. industry gross margin at 32.19%. TTM operating margin at 14.24% vs. industry operating margin at 12.76%. TTM pretax margin at 14.01% vs. industry pretax margin at 10.86%. The stock has gained 20.42% over the last year.

3. Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D): Engages in producing and transporting energy in the United States. Market cap of $28.77B. TTM gross margin at 30.32% vs. industry gross margin at 27.09%. TTM operating margin at 23.32% vs. industry operating margin at 18.09%. TTM pretax margin at 16.77% vs. industry pretax margin at 13.28%. The stock has gained 25.78% over the last year.

4. US Ecology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOL): Provides waste treatment, disposal, recycling and transportation services to commercial and government entities in the United States. Market cap of $323.53M. TTM gross margin at 44.49% vs. industry gross margin at 40.22%. TTM operating margin at 20.53% vs. industry operating margin at 14.25%. TTM pretax margin at 18.01% vs. industry pretax margin at 10.63%. The stock has gained 15.05% over the last year.

5. Waste Connections Inc. (NYSE:WCN): Provides solid waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services. Market cap of $3.64B. TTM gross margin at 43.28% vs. industry gross margin at 40.20%. TTM operating margin at 21.44% vs. industry operating margin at 14.28%. TTM pretax margin at 18.46% vs. industry pretax margin at 10.71%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.62% (equivalent to 8.25 days of average volume). The stock has gained 25.34% over the last year.

6. Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (NYSE:BIN): Operates as a vertically integrated waste management company in North America. Market cap of $2.45B. TTM gross margin at 40.91% vs. industry gross margin at 40.20%. TTM operating margin at 14.52% vs. industry operating margin at 14.28%. TTM pretax margin at 10.98% vs. industry pretax margin at 10.71%. The stock has lost 7.24% over the last year.

7. Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG): Provides nonhazardous solid waste collection, transfer and disposal services in the United States. Market cap of $10.13B. TTM gross margin at 40.86% vs. industry gross margin at 40.22%. TTM operating margin at 19.57% vs. industry operating margin at 14.25%. TTM pretax margin at 11.09% vs. industry pretax margin at 10.63%. The stock has lost 2.39% over the last year.

8. MGE Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:MGEE): Operates as a public utility holding company. Market cap of $1.03B. TTM gross margin at 27.41% vs. industry gross margin at 27.12%. TTM operating margin at 20.09% vs. industry operating margin at 18.46%. TTM pretax margin at 18.19% vs. industry pretax margin at 13.99%. The stock has gained 10.64% over the last year.

*Profitability data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 8 Clean Energy Stocks With Impressive Profitability