This column was originally published on RealMoney on June 21 at 4:04 p.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.

The media and investors have paid considerable attention lately to the prospects for making money by investing in stocks involved in the production of ethanol. My models shows that four of these stocks in particular could grow into winners.

Interest in ethanol investments resurfaced last week with the initial public offering of VeraSun Energy ( VSE), which began trading on June 14. VeraSun was priced at $23 and traded as high as $30.75 on its first day, but faded to a low of $24.50 last Thursday. While my models do not have enough data or information to evaluate IPOs, it appears that this one-week range is tradeable.

Tuesday, the American Stock Exchange listed Xethanol ( XNL), another play on ethanol. As with VeraSun, I can't evaluate this new ethanol play until it has a trading history, but it is worth making note of, despite its small market capitalization. Xethanol operates two ethanol production facilities in Iowa.

At the May 16 meeting of the Society for the Investigation of Recurring Events, Delos Smith, president and chief economist at Delos Smith & Associates, was particularly concerned about energy. In his view, the problem with energy is that global demand for crude oil has reached 85 million barrels a day and supplies are tight. With 235 million cars on the road, U.S. refineries are running at full capacity, and 40% of the output in the U.S. comes from two cities that could be hard hit during the hurricane season. Delos sees a big future in ethanol to solve our energy needs. Delos said that instead of paying farmers not to grow corn through subsidies, we should encourage it and build the facilities to convert it to ethanol, citing Brazil's successful use of sugar-based ethanol to reduce oil use.

My models show that Nymex crude oil peaked at $75.35 back on April 21 and has been trading sideways to down since then. Ethanol stocks have declined with crude oil, as the hype around oil's peak (and need for an oil replacement) has subsided. The weekly chart profile for crude oil is negative, with support this week at $66.43 and the five-week MMA at $70.34. My monthly and semiannual supports are $64.52 and $64.58, with quarterly resistance at $75.94. With crude oil likely to stay in an elevated trading range, I expect ethanol stocks should regain their energy.

My models indicate that investors will want to focus their research efforts on these four stocks:

Archer Daniels Midland ( ADM - Get Report) rates a hold with ValuEngine and is 14.4% overvalued with fair value at $34.44. After reaching a high of $46.71 on May 11, ADM declined to $37.45 on June 13, testing my monthly value level of $37.94. If ADM can close above its 50-day simple moving average of $40.12, it has the possibility of rising to my weekly risky level at $43.89.

Given its buy rating from ValuEngine and the fact that it's trading below fair value, The Andersons ( ANDE - Get Report) looks like an attractive addition to an alternative-energy portfolio, with shares above Tuesday's low of $70.01. The stock is currently 9.8% undervalued, with fair value at $81.08. The Andersons traded down to $70.01 on Tuesday after reaching a high of $125.40 on May 4. But given its volatile performance, a break to a new low could indicate risk to the 200-day simple moving average of $58.67, which is the next buy level.

MGP Ingredients ( MGPI - Get Report) traded down to $20.01 on June 15 after a high of $36.08 on May 11. If it breaks to a new low for the move, it's likely to see downside is to its 200-day simple moving average of $16, which would make this ethanol play undervalued. Currently, MGP is 14.9% overvalued, with fair value at $18. My models show possible upside to my monthly risky level of $22.78. According to ValuEngine, the stock rates a hold.

Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX - Get Report) is the most undervalued of my four picks, at 25.5% undervalued, with fair value at $28.14. At this level of discount, adding shares of Pacific Ethanol looks smart, particularly in anticipation of the stock rebounding to my monthly pivot of $25.43. The downside is to its 200-day simple moving average of $17.37, which is the next level that looks buyable. The stock is rated a hold according to ValuEngine and has traded down to $20.05 from a May 11 high of $44.50.

Another way to get exposure to this facet of alternative energy is to buy energy giants that are entering the sector. These companies have deep pockets and will join to compete for a major share in the development, production and delivery of alternative energy. For example, BP ( BP - Get Report) and DuPont ( DD - Get Report) just announced a partnership to develop biofuels.

Perhaps the best way to play ethanol is to buy a farm in Iowa!


Please note that due to factors including low market capitalization and/or insufficient public float, we consider Xethanol and MGP Ingredients to be small-cap stocks. You should be aware that such stocks are subject to more risk than stocks of larger companies, including greater volatility, lower liquidity and less publicly available information, and that postings such as this one can have an effect on their stock prices.

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Richard Suttmeier is president of Global Market Consultants, Ltd., and chief market strategist for Joseph Stevens & co., a full service brokerage firm located in lower Manhattan. Early in his career, Suttmeier became the first U.S. Treasury Bond Trader at Bache. He later began the government bond division at L. F. Rothschild. Suttmeier went on to form Global Market Consultants as an independent third-party research provider, producing reports covering the technicals of the U.S. capital markets. He also has been U.S. Treasury Strategist for Smith Barney and chief financial strategist for William R. Hough. Suttmeier holds a bachelor's degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master's degree from Polytechnic University.