While ABB (NYSE:ABB) will benefit from upgrading the old power grids and power networks, as well as building new ones in emerging markets, we can find some companies that are going to benefit from another source of the same spectrum.
Emerging markets are clearly facing a big dilemma: if they want to continue growing they have to avoid a basic thing that could hinder their growth: power shortages. That's where ABB comes into play: upgrading existing infrastructure. But also, to avoid those shortages utilities must be fully on board, and they have to start investing more and be invested in more. And that is where Companhia Paranaense (NYSE:ELP) comes in.
One great thing about ELP is that it's needed tremendously in a high-speed growing Brazil, and the government recognizes that. As Brazil grows so does ELP, and so does investment in ELP. Brazilian government recognizes the need for further investment into this and other companies and has restructured utilities from higher government control system and regulations to a free market that provides enormous opportunities for these companies and increase investments, and by this furthers growth of these companies and the country itself.
Power demand in Brazil is growing rapidly as its economy is on a fast track to success - an excellent opportunity for investment! As investment rises, so does the stock price. As the stock price rises so does the dividend payout and a greater return on investment. As US utility stocks are just a safe haven, almost like a bond, this Brazilian play is a contrary growth story. And that was proven by Thursday's upgrade and bullish comments by Bear Stearns.
"Argentina's power shortages have worsened. Its government may have to take unpopular steps. Some countries are on the verge of blackouts and rationing (great for both ABB and ELP, I'd say). A lot of times countries don't give in to business-friendly regulatory models until they have no choice," Michels from Bear Stearns states. While Argentina is still not a investor-friendly country (yet), Brazil is and it has ""investor-friendly regulatory models," Michels said.
Following recent strong market corrections and panic selloff across all sectors, especially in the utility sphere, I suggested adding ELP slowly to one's portfolio, by accumulating at support levels. Market weakness has provided us with a great buying opportunity in ELP as it dropped dramatically from $19 to $16, or 20%, in a matter of couple of weeks.
With the market recovering, ELP quickly emerges on the top as a favorite bottom picking growth-value play, given the company's incredible fundamentals and earnings performance, with a promising future growth potential. Both short-term and long-term outlook continues to remain extremely positive.
With new plans around the corner to engage in ethanol export activities from Brazil to other energy needy regions, and historically strong earnings with even better outlook this time around the corner, I think that Bear Stearn's price target of $20 might even be conservative.
Disclosure: Author has a long position in ELP