NEW YORK (The Street) -- Solar stocks are the only standout amid an otherwise lackluster outlook for energy companies, as fund managers warned investors to hold fire before attempting to ride the so-called energy revolution.
A brutally cold U.S. winter and ongoing talk of energy independence has failed to buoy the listed energy sector, which has lagged the broader index and even the beleaguered consumer discretionary sector over the past year.
But solar stocks are a bright spot.
Schaeffer's Investment Research senior technical strategist Ryan Detrick pointed to stocks such as First Solar (FSLR) and SunPower (SPWR) as promising companies. "Solar is where a lot of the action in energy has been and will continue to be as people move away from dirty energy sources like coal " he told TheStreet.
"Energy has generally been a 'blah' sector and only a handful of solar stocks are liquid enough (to invest in)," Detrick said.
Of these, shares of First Solar have risen 47% over the past year while SunPower has jumped more than 60%. This compares to 8% for the broader energy sector and 11.4% for the S&P 500.
More broadly, Randy Warren, chief investment officer of Warren Financial Service, said the key question potential investors faced was whether the global economy would expand quickly enough to absorb extra shale capacity from Australia, the U.S. and Brazil.