With 2012 wrapped up, I’m sure we’re all more than pleased that not only did we avoid the fiscal cliff, but we also managed to see a positive year for the stock market. Despite the enduring post-2008 market quagmire, the latter half of 2012 was an especially strong year for the market. In fact, the long-suffering housing market also experienced a rebound, proving that the economic turnaround has been broad in scope.
Taking all this into account, many of us may want to look into expanding our portfolios. Environmentally conscious investors will naturally want to avoid companies with questionable ecological records. With that in mind, there is a spread of promising solar energy holdings for intrepid investors to consider.
Advanced Energy Industries:
Among a crop of promising solar holdings, Advanced Energy Industries (NASDAQ:AEIS) had an especially momentous year. Returning a +30.85% value growth in 2012, AEIS notably outperformed the NADAQ index. The steady gains throughout 2012 bode well for continued growth into this year, and with the market gaining strength, investors may be well advised to keep an eye on AEIS earning prospects.
From a macroeconomic perspective, Advanced Energy has a diverse market reach, with sales and service focus on both developed and emerging markets. This attention to opportunity markets may serve well for the company’s future earnings, and well likely continue to stabilize the company’s bottom line as the next four quarters unfold. Similarly, the company’s standing as both an endurance player in renewable energy combined with its attentiveness to emerging technologies also bodes well for its long-term market outlook.
While the company had a more conservative earnings return in FY2012, Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) has emerged as another star solar performer. Outperforming the NASDAQ composite, Applied Materials seems slated to continue gains throughout this year. Applied Materials has a more diversified product base than many other major solar players, with its technology serving as power-efficient circuitry and semiconductors for a wide variety of industrial applications.
The breadth of its product utility gives it a stronger bulwark against single-sector fluctuations, and its endurance as an energy company means that long-standing corporate practices are also more strongly guarded against market hiccups. Despite not being a purely solar-focused company, Applied Materials’ development of tablet and flat screen technology indicates sharp attention to industry trends.
A riskier consideration than the previous two holdings, First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) nevertheless had an impressive turnaround performance during the latter half of FY2012. Despite a slight dip in the overall value of its stock over the course of the year, Q3 and Q4 returned a sequence of indicators that point towards a positive future for the company.
Much of the company’s ‘bounce back’ was carried on the back of a series of promising disclosures. Not only is the company diversifying its manufacturing base, but its foreign market operations are beginning to show promise as well. Operations entry into the energy-hungry German market seems to be buoying company earnings and stock price. I would personally encourage stronger skepticism with FSLR than other solar player, but keen investors would also be well advised to keep an eye on market indicators that point towards ongoing good fortune for the company.
Making its IPO at the very close of last year, SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) is a new player among alternative energy stocks. SolarCity’s standing focus is on providing solar infrastructure to a broad range of property- including both commercial and residential real estate. Additionally, SolarCity has also demonstrated inclination in partnering with the government and focusing attention on public-sector contracts, a serendipitous move considering the Obama administration’s mounting attention to clean energy solutions. With our incumbent president keeping his post, it’s likely these policies will be built upon throughout the next four years.
Additionally, SolarCity has implemented a marked attention to cost effective solar solutions, with its emphasis on inexpensive alternative energy infrastructure likely to continue gathering attention from a breadth of partners that are both cost-conscious and environmentally conscious.
While the market for the alternative energy industry can be fickle and unpredictable, conscious investors would be well advised to scan the market for reliable solar holdings. With a gradual market rebound and newfound government focus on innovative solar infrastructure, we may be slated to see newfound value growth in solar stocks.
So, have you looked into solar stocks?