10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2016: Quick July Update

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Includes: AMRC, EVA, GLBL, GPP, HASI, MIXT, NYLD, PEGI, REGI, TRSWF
by: Tom Konrad, CFA

My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2016 model portfolio had yet another strong month, as did my real managed portfolio, the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio (GGEIP).

The shorter-format of last month's update turned out to be popular, so I'm doing it again.


July Total Return July Benchmark Return YTD Total Return YTD Benchmark Return
10 Clean Energy Stocks 8.5% 5.5% 15.3% 3.2%
7 Clean Energy Income Stocks 7.4% 6.5% 20.0% 12.5%
3 Clean Energy Growth Stocks 11.1% 3.4% 4.2% -16.4%
GGEIP 6.8% 6.5% 19.7% 12.5%
Click to enlarge

See the previous update for a description of the benchmarks.

The strong performance of the portfolio continues to be driven by the flight to quality and lower interest rate expectations caused by the Brexit vote, as well as positive news for a couple holdings.

I've made some progress finding a socially responsible asset management company to help me turn GGEIP into a mutual fund. GGEIP's outstanding performance last year and so far this year likely have a lot to do with that. There are actually two versions of GGEIP, one which can use leverage and the other which can't.

While I had never used leverage in GGEIP before the end of last year, long time readers will know that I became extremely bullish about the Yieldco space in late 2015 through February this year. Because of my bullishness, I added leverage by selling uncovered puts on many Yieldcos, and the move has paid off. For the year through the end of July, the leveraged version of GGEIP is up 32%, compared to 20% for the unleveraged version.

Click to enlarge

The chart above gives detailed performance for the individual stocks. Selected news driving individual stocks is discussed below.

Income Stocks

Pattern Energy Group (NASD:PEGI)

12/31/15 Price: $20.91. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $1.488 (7.1%). Beta: 1.22. Low Target: $18. High Target: $35.
7/31/16 Price: $24.37. YTD Dividend: $0.671. Expected 2016 Dividend:$1.56 (6.4%) YTD Total Return: 23.1%

Wind Yieldco Pattern Energy paid its first $0.39 quarterly dividend. On June 30, it agreed to buy another 324 MW wind farm from its sponsor, an accretive deal which can be financed using available cash and borrowing. That said, the recent stock price strength makes me believe that at least part of this deal will be financed by selling some stock as well.

Enviva Partners, LP (NYSE:EVA)

12/31/15 Price: $18.15. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $1.76 (9.7%). Low Target: $13. High Target: $26.
7/31/16 Price: $21.82. YTD Dividend: $0.97 Expected 2016 Dividend: $2.10 (9.6%) YTD Total Return: 25.8%

Wood pellet focused Master Limited Partnership (MLP) and Yieldco Enviva Partners was the only stock in the model portfolio to fall in July. It dropped 4% because of a rating downgrade to "Outperform" from "Strong Buy" from Raymond James.

Green Plains Partners, LP (NYSE:GPP)

12/31/15 Price: $16.25. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $1.60 (9.8%). Low Target: $12. High Target: $22.
7/31/16 Price: $18.49. YTD Dividend: $0.8075. Expected 2016 Dividend: $1.62 (8.8%) YTD Total Return: 20.7%

Ethanol production Yieldco Green Plains Partners will pay a regular $0.41 dividend to holders of record on August 5th.

NRG Yield, A shares (NYSE:NYLD)

12/31/15 Price: $13.91. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $0.86 (6.2%). Beta: 1.02. Low Target: $11. High Target: $25.
7/31/16 Price: $17.18. YTD Dividend: $0.455. Expected 2016 Dividend: $0.94 (5.5%) YTD Total Return: 27.7%

Yieldco NRG Yield did not report significant news, but continued its upward climb along with other Yieldcos.

Terraform Global (NASD: GLBL)

12/31/15 Price: $5.59. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $1.10 (19.7%). Beta: 1.22. Low Target: $4. High Target: $15.
7/31/16 Price: $3.48. YTD Dividend: $0.275. Expected 2016 Dividend: $0.60 (17.2%). YTD Total Return: -30.6%

Yieldco Terraform Global released some preliminary financial data for fiscal 2015 and the first two quarters of 2016. I used the data to perform two valuations of the company, one based on assets and the other on cash flow. You can find the full valuation here; overall, I think it is worth $4 and $8.50 a share. The company also announced that they are in active discussions with the Yieldco's bankrupt parent SunEdison (OTCPK:SUNEQ) about a "jointly-supported" sales process for SunEdison's stake in GLBL.

Sister Yieldco TerraForm Power (NASD:TERP) released similar financial information, which I also used for the valuation here.

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure (NYSE:HASI).

12/31/15 Price: $18.92. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: $1.20 (6.3%). Beta: 1.22. Low Target: $17. High Target: $27.
7/31/16 Price: $22.49. YTD Dividend: $0.30. Expected 2016 Dividend: $1.25 (5.6%). YTD Total Return: 22.3%

Clean energy financier and REIT Hannon Armstrong paid its regular $0.30 quarterly dividend in July.

TransAlta Renewables Inc. (TSX:RNW, OTC:TRSWF)
12/31/15 Price: C$10.37. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: C$0.84 (8.1%). Low Target: C$10. High Target: C$15.
7/31/16 Price: C$14.09. YTD Dividend: C$0.636 Expected 2016 Dividend: C$0.88 (6.3%) YTD Total Return (US$): 50.8%

Canadian listed Yieldco TransAlta Renewables did not release any significant news, but continued to hit new highs.

Growth Stocks

Renewable Energy Group (NASD:REGI)

12/31/15 Price: $9.29. Annual Dividend: $0. Beta: 1.01. Low Target: $7. High Target: $25.
7/31/16 Price: $9.75. YTD Total Return: 5.0%

Advanced biofuel producer Renewable Energy Group finally seems to be getting some stock market traction from the recovering biodiesel market, possibly because of of an article that highlighted it as a possible beneficiary from a Clinton victory in November.

MiX Telematics Limited (NASD:MIXT; JSE:MIX).
12/31/15 Price: $4.22 / R2.80. Dec 31st Annual Dividend: R0.08 (2.9%). Beta: -0.13. Low Target: $4. High Target: $15.
7/31/16 Price: $5.13 / R2.85. YTD Dividend: R0.04/$0.076 Expected 2016 Dividend: R0.08 (2.8%) YTD Total Return: 23.5%

Software as a service fleet management provider MiX Telematics will announce fiscal first quarter earnings on August 4th.

Ameresco, Inc. (NASD:AMRC).
Current Price: $6.25. Annual Dividend: $0. Beta: 1.1. Low Target: $5. High Target: $15.
7/31/16 Price: $4.95. YTD Total Return: -15.7%

Energy service contractor Ameresco did not disclose significant news.

Final Thoughts

2016 continues to be a great year for my stock picks, especially considering that most clean energy stocks have fallen this year. The gains have made valuations less attractive than I felt they were in February and March. Then, I wrote,

I can't say this enough: If readers have any cash still on the sidelines in this market, now is the time to buy. Buy and keep reinvesting the extremely high dividends on offer until prices rise.

Today, I still feel that many of these stocks remain below fair value, but the screaming deals are gone. I also don't trust the broad market rally we have seen in July, and if it reverses, even stocks with good valuations will likely give up some of their gains. Hence, I've started taking some of my gains so that I will have cash to take advantage of future declines, but will still be able to profit if my picks continue to advance.

Disclosure: Long HASI, AMRC, MIXT,, RNW/TRSWF, PEGI, EVA, GPP, NYLD/A, REGI, GLBL, TERP.

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 first published on AltEnergyStocks.com as Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2016: Quick July Update.