The utilities sector is often associated with mature firms that deliver reliable returns and dividends yearly.
Small cap stock Pattern Energy Group (PEGI) - Get Report challenges a few of those stereotypes. It is growing at a more dynamic pace. Offering you a massive 7.29% dividend yield, projected double-digit stock price returns over the next 12 months and 20% year-over-year sales growth, this renewable, wind energy company is an exciting wealth generator.
San Francisco-based Pattern Energy is benefiting from rising demand for clean energy and a smart strategy that has enabled it to achieve its strong growth.
Pattern Energy owns and operates 16 wind power facilities in the United States, Canada and Chile with a total owned capacity of 2,282 megawatts (MW). These facilities generate stable long-term cash flows in attractive markets and provide a solid foundation for continued expansion. Each facility is contracted to sell all its energy output (or a majority of the same) on a long-term, fixed-price power sale agreement with a counter party.
From $136 million in 2011, Pattern Energy has more than doubled revenues to $330 million in 2015. To be sure, the company hasn't witnessed any profits in the last two years. Analysts, however, expect it to clock $0.41 per share earnings per share (EPS) for the year ended Dec 2017.
Revenues are expected to rise at a healthy 20% year over year. That's faster than bigger players like Calpine and AES and even similar-sized NRG Yield.
Pattern Energy's dividends are a huge draw for anybody looking at hefty yields. The stock hasn't moved much this year (a gain of only 1%), but the 7.39% yield is as good as it gets, which is higher than the average yield offered by diversified utilities.
Dividends have galloped, unlike those for most utilities, over the last three years. After paying out $0.31 per share in 2013, dividends were hiked to $1.30 in 2014, and in 2015, the company paid out $1.43 a share.
Pattern Energy has delivered income: 9 consecutive dividend hikes (25% increase since its IPO in Oct. 2013). May saw Pattern Energy declare $0.39/share quarterly dividends, a 2.4% increase from prior dividends of $0.381.
The company possesses substantial wind resources and high-quality turbine equipment via suppliers Siemens and GE -- 89% of volume is under long-term contract. It has trimmed turbine operating costs and is expecting to reach a 5,000 MW portfolio by the end of 2019.
Pattern Energy offers a transparent approach to its near-term opportunities' asset list (2282 MW) through development purchase rights. Its strategy to juggle debt ($1.85 billion) and to use project debt (amortizing less than PPA term and 5% long-term fixed interest on project debt) to achieve superior returns is smart.
Pattern Energy is a stock to watch, as it returns to sustainable profitability and delivers positive free cash flows. The 13 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts have a median target of $25, an 18% gain from its current price.
On the valuation chart, the stock, which trades at EV/EBITDA of 17.52 times, is available at a premium to peers, but that's principally driven by its brighter growth prospects. Investors could stand to make nearly 25% total returns on this clean energy gem in a year's time.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.