With the price of oil dropping seemingly every day, the top cleantech stocks have been unusually volatile, as many people see less money going to the sector with the huge drop in energy prices. A new report from Deutsche Bank indicates the recent volatility in solar stocks is indeed driven in part by oil price weakness. The analysts also believe that this presents a very attractive entry point for investors. The bank’s analysts expect 2015 to be a year of stable industry pricing and accelerating volume growth.
In the report, the Deutsche Bank team focused on four top stocks to buy, and they downgrade Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) to Hold on concerns about the company’s balance sheet and lack of positive catalysts going forward. Here are the four stocks rated Buy at Deutsche Bank in the solar and cleantech space.
SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) is widely recommend around other Wall Street firms as well. It manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity and services to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison also provides 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services for hundreds of solar systems worldwide via the company’s Renewable Operation Center (ROC). SunEdison and its yieldco company, TerraForm Power, signed a definitive agreement in November to acquire First Wind for a total sum of $2.4 billion. The combined entity becomes one of the largest clean energy companies in the world.
The Deutsche Bank price target for the stock is $40. The Thomson/First call consensus price target is $28.77. The stock closed Thursday at $19.04 a share.
SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) is a pure-play leader in the fast growth, roof-top solar as a service market, and the analysts feel it 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 rise going forward, it will remain below the 6% residual value calculations considered key, and the Deutsche Bank team feel that current valuations are a compelling reason to own the stock now. In fact, they use a sum of the parts valuation with a 12% discount rate to value current/future leasing business cash flows to get their very aggressive target price set.
The Deutsche Bank price objective is a big $92, and the consensus figure is lower at $87.70. Shares closed trading Thursday at $50.88.
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. SunPower offers operations and maintenance services, including remote monitoring, preventative and corrective maintenance services, as well as rapid-response outage restoration and inverter repair services. Last month, SunPower announced an exclusive agreement with Sunverge for residential and utility energy storage solutions in the United States and Australia.
The Deutsche Bank price objective is $43, and the consensus target is $38.87. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $25.46 a share.
Vivint Solar Inc. (NYSE: VSLR) is a leading provider of distributed solar energy, which is electricity generated by a solar energy system installed at a customer’s location, to residential customers in the United States. Vivint Solar’s customers pay little to no money upfront, receive significant savings relative to utility generated electricity and continue to benefit from guaranteed energy prices over the 20-year term of their contracts. The company is the number two residential installer in the country and has seen its market share rise to 16% in the third quarter, from 13% in the second quarter. Fourth quarter share is expected to jump as well.
The Deutsche Bank price target is a huge $20, and the consensus target is right there at $20.20. Shares closed Thursday at $8.17.
The Deutsche Bank team is spot-on in the assessment that investors have been spooked by the big drop in oil. While oil may not trade back to $100 anytime soon, there should be a gradual rally, and capital should return to these top stocks to buy.