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Profitability is one of the most important considerations for a stock, but there are many different ways to look at a company's profits. For ideas on how to start your analysis, we ran a screen.

We screened the clean energy industry (companies that use or produce clean sources of energy) for those with impressive profitability, with higher gross, operating, and pretax margins than their industry peers.

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.

Do you think these companies are making strong profits? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

1. Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D): Engages in producing and transporting energy in the United States. TTM gross margin at 30.11% vs. industry average at 26.27%. TTM operating margin at 22.68% vs. industry average at 17.27%.TTM pretax margin at 15.1% vs. industry average at 12.66%.

2. Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE:DCI): Engages in the manufacture and sale of filtration systems and replacement parts worldwide. TTM gross margin at 38.08% vs. industry average at 32.%. TTM operating margin at 14.32% vs. industry average at 13.%. TTM pretax margin at 14.1% vs. industry average at 11.01%.

3. US Ecology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOL): Provides waste treatment, disposal, recycling, and transportation services to commercial and government entities in the United States. TTM gross margin at 45.52% vs. industry average at 39.92%. TTM operating margin at 21.08% vs. industry average at 14.92%.TTM pretax margin at 19.24% vs. industry average at 10.91%.

4. General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE): Operates as a technology, service, and finance company worldwide. TTM gross margin at 57.42% vs. industry average at 49.4%. TTM operating margin at 20.41% vs. industry average at 16.73%.TTM pretax margin at 14.2% vs. industry average at 13.58%.

5. MGE Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:MGEE): Operates as a public utility holding company. TTM gross margin at 27.24% vs. industry average at 26.75%. TTM operating margin at 19.74% vs. industry average at 18.24%.TTM pretax margin at 17.74% vs. industry average at 13.5%.

6. NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE): Engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy in the United States and Canada. TTM gross margin at 32.57% vs. industry average at 26.79%. TTM operating margin at 22.35% vs. industry average at 18.26%.TTM pretax margin at 15.98% vs. industry average at 13.52%.

7. Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE:PNW): Provides retail and wholesale electric services primarily in the State of Arizona. TTM gross margin at 36.21% vs. industry average at 26.79%. TTM operating margin at 23.03% vs. industry average at 18.26%.TTM pretax margin at 16.64% vs. industry average at 13.52%.

8. Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG): Provides nonhazardous solid waste collection, transfer, and disposal services in the United States. TTM gross margin at 40.62% vs. industry average at 39.95%. TTM operating margin at 19.29% vs. industry average at 14.93%.TTM pretax margin at 11.06% vs. industry average at 10.97%.

9. Waste Connections Inc. (NYSE:WCN): Provides solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services. TTM gross margin at 43.03% vs. industry average at 39.92%. TTM operating margin at 21.29% vs. industry average at 14.92%.TTM pretax margin at 18.14% vs. industry average at 10.91%.

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

Source: 9 Clean Energy Stocks With Impressive Profitability