New Wind Energy ETF Is Not Just Hot Air

| About: First Trust (FAN)

I think the creators of (NYSEARCA:FAN), a brand new fund that is going to track the ISE Global Wind Energy Index, earned their 0.6% fee. Here’s why: Only 18 of the 52 stocks in the fund are available to North American retail investors without going over the counter, or paying for international data feeds.

That liquidity and accessibility to these truly global investment securities is worth something, to many people. Now I’d say, I wish the fund didn’t have 4, of those 18, which are hardly ‘wind’ investments (General Electric (NYSE:GE), Siemens (SI), Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) and BP (NYSE:BP) are ~5% of fund).

I spent 18 hours of my weekend skimming annual reports of these companies, news headlines, glancing over the numbers and ratios, as well as digesting the growth prospects.

What I was trying to do, was pick a couple more good stocks to hold, since I already own Vestas (OTCPK:VWSYF). But, by early Sunday, I had checked out >90% of the fund’s holdings and I found more good investments than I could choose. Unlike my overview of Powershares Water Resources (NASDAQ:PHO), there were lots of stocks I wanted to own. I found many seemingly good leaders, and quality pure-plays, that may or may not be pushing the upper limits of valuation levels as they crack the all time highs.

To me, this momentum is a good sign, and reason to be hesitant at the same time. But walking away from my tear down, I took away a consensus of great prospects, even more bullish than the guys running the fund discussed. As for the non-pure plays, I think there was only one that I didn’t want to own, because the non-pure plays all look cheap on a valuation basis, either that or they are in the middle of turning from losing money ventures into cash machines.

I do have a little issue with the fund runners, First Trust. I would like to see them release something showing how they tabulated the trailing twelve month eps figure of 25x trailing. That seems bogus to me, I don’t know how they got that number up. I can’t prove it, because I chose not to analyze the bottom 12 companies making up only 6% of the fund, and I was more focused on the future than the past. But, I added up the current fiscal year estimates, where they existed, (I found them for 92.6% of the fund) and calculated the weighted average of the multiplier to be 53.13x .

I also didn’t account for the fact that some fiscal years ended as soon as September, while others were just starting. It would have just been too time consuming. I also used TTM for 2 or 3 names, since estimates weren’t available. Anyway, forward estimates or guidance was only available for 85.54% of the fund, but where they existed, the weighted average turned out to be 24.19x.

I should have kept track, but the “buys” & “holds” way out numbered the “sells”, if I had to guess it must have been 6:1. To me, the fund looks healthy, and appears to be half way through a healthy trend. Looking forward, the holdings might also benefit from the new market of buyers (people who likely have never considered buying over the counter). That being said, it likely won’t have very much room left for multiplier expansion, unless you think it’s the ‘next solar’, then I suppose there is room for expansion because the fund’s holdings are cheaper than solar investments.

Here is the listing of the 52 stocks in the fund, by weight:

REpower Systems AG
Vestas Wind Systems
Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica, S.A. (Gamesa)
Hansen Transmissions
Japan Wind Development Co., Ltd.
Babcock & Brown Wind Partners
Nordex AG
Theolia SA
Clipper Windpower PLC
Gurit Holding AG
Greentech Energy Systems
Renewable Energy Generation
Fersa Energias Renovables SA
Zoltek Companies, Inc.
Royal Dutch Shell, Plc
Iberdrola Renovables
BP Plc (ADR)
AGL Energy Limited
Trinity Industries, Inc.
NRG Energy Inc.
FPL Group, Inc.
General Electric Company
Siemens AG (ADR)
The AES Corporation
China WindPower Group Limited
Woodward Governor Company
Air Energy S.A.
Acciona S.A.
EDF Energies Nouvelles S.A.
Allegheny Technologies, Inc.
American Superconductor Corporation
Alliant Energy Corporation
Federal-Mogul Corporation
Otter Tail Corporation
China High Speed Transmission Equipment Group Co., Ltd.
Kaydon Corporation
Capstone Turbine Corporation
El Paso Electric Company
A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd.
Harbin Power Equipment Company Ltd.
Ameron International Corporation
Novera Energy, Plc
Terna Energy SA
Boralex Inc.
Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc.
Heroux-Devtek Inc.
Conergy AG
Shanghai Prime Machinery Company Ltd.
Morphic Technologies AB
C. Rokas SA

Disclosure: Long Vestas (OTCPK:VWSYF), likely long FAN soon…or some of the names in the fund.