With big gains in the books for 2014, many aggressive investors are looking for new ideas for where to move profits and new capital. One of the very best areas that could provide gains similar to 2014 could be the alternative energy and smart grid stocks. With the United States and other industrialized nations looking to not only improve energy production and reduce emissions, smart grid technology may be a key in energy efficiency and consistent power delivery.
A new research report from the analysts at J.P. Morgan highlights the top stocks to buy for 2015, and also give specific reasons why the top picks are poised to offer shareholders outstanding value in 2015.
Here are the top alternative energy/smart grid stocks to buy at J.P. Morgan. All are rated Overweight.
Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is a top pick in the solar space at J.P. Morgan, and the analysts feel that it will post solid 2015 numbers as visibility to earnings is good, and vertical integration is a decided advantage for the company. Canadian Solar is delivering some panels at today’s costs against projects priced at generous FiT rates from two or more years ago. It is also considered one of the world’s largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of solar modules, specialized solar products and solar power plants with operations in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Asia, Canadian Solar has delivered more than 6 Gigawatts of premium quality solar modules to customers in over 70 countries.
The J.P. Morgan price objective for this top stock is $36. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is much higher at $43.25. The stock closed Friday at $24.69 a share.
Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting and semiconductor products for power and radio frequency (RF) applications. The J.P. Morgan team sees the company having a distinct advantage in patents, brand, distribution and overall corporate scale. Cree’s product families include LED fixtures and bulbs, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, power-switching devices and RF devices. Cree products are helping to drive significant improvements in applications such as general illumination, backlighting, electronic signs and signals, power suppliers and solar inverters.
The J.P. Morgan price objective is $37, and the consensus target is lower at $32.53. Shares closed trading on Friday at $32.07.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) operates through two segments. The Components segment designs, manufactures and sells solar modules, such as CdTe modules that convert sunlight into electricity for project developers, system integrators and operators of photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. The Systems segment provides turn-key PV solar power systems or solar solutions, such as project development; engineering, procurement and construction; operating and maintenance; and project finance services to investor owned utilities, independent power developers and producers, commercial and industrial companies, and PV solar power system owners.
The J.P. Morgan price target is set at $68, while the consensus target is $60.56. Shares closed trading Friday at $44.54.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) offers solar power products, including panels, balance of system components and inverters. It also designs, manufactures and sells high-performance rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems, as well as utility-scale photovoltaic power plants. In addition, the company offers operations and maintenance services, including remote monitoring, preventative and corrective maintenance services, as well as rapid-response outage restoration and inverter repair services.
The J.P. Morgan price objective is $40, and the consensus target is $38.87. The stock closed trading on Friday at $25.71.
SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) is a pure-play leader in the fast growth, roof-top solar as a service market, and the analysts feel the company has a balance sheet that will support growth in 2015 and beyond. With many long-term contracts providing visibility into future cash flows, the company is a top name for risk-tolerant investors to own. While some on Wall Street feel that the company’s cost of funding may be higher going forward, it will remain below the 6% residual value calculations considered key, and the J.P. Morgan team feel that current valuations are a compelling reason to own the stock.
The J.P. Morgan price objective is $72, and the consensus target is much higher at $87.70. Shares closed trading Friday at $52.92.
The constant move forward for clean and alternative energy is a force that cannot be stopped at this point. Aggressive investors looking to add positions in portfolios may do well with any of these top picks from J.P. Morgan. In addition, some year-end selling has made entry points for these leading companies very palatable.
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