4 green energy stocks that are growing more profitable

James Dennin, Kapitall: These 4 green energy stocks have EPS growing faster than their stock price.

In a sign of mounting maturity in the green energy sector,  First Solar (FSLR) – one of the biggest names in the industry –   has announced that it is re-working its business model to achieve more sustainable growth. While this might seem like a concession of sorts, the market is reacting to the news favorably, sending First Solar on a nearly 2% run throughout the day.

[Read more from Kapitall: How Will Mobile Gaming Stocks React to the King IPO?]

Most investors are reading the decision as a sensible step forward rather than a potentially risky step back. For an industry that's still getting its sea legs profit-wise, it's important to see firms working in the right direction.

The rationale behind the announcement isn't exactly the worst problem to have, anyway. First Solar has worked mostly with large-scale customers and utilities, and capitalized heavily off of new state regulations requiring a certain percentage of energy generation to come from renewable sources. 

The company made a lot of money by providing states with large-scale solar panel operations. As states reach their quotas, however, the demand for First Solar products slows.

Green energy has had a good twelve month return, but many of the largest firms still haven't recovered to pre-recession levels. One of the largest green-energy ETFs, the  PowerShares Global Clean Energy ETF (PBD), still trades roughly 9% lower than it did in 2011. 

Yet, in a sign that things are turning around for the green energy sector, institutional purchasing of green energy firms is on the rise.

Of the 200 firms on Kapitall's green energy index, 21 are experiencing spikes in purchasing from groups like hedge funds and pensions – indicating that the financial sector is getting more bullish on green energy as a whole. 

We decided to build a list of stocks that are growing their profits but still seem reasonably priced. To do that we looked for mismatches between earnings per share growth (EPS) and price growth. An EPS mismatch occurs when a company's earnings per share grows faster than its price. This could be a sign that the company is undervalued. 

Click on the interactive chart to view data over time. 

 

1. Canadian Solar Inc. ( CSIQ): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of solar power products in Canada and internationally. Market cap at $1.89B, most recent closing price at $39.75.

The EPS estimate for the company's current year increased from 3.25 to 3.78 over the last 30 days, an increase of 16.31%.

This increase came during a time when the stock price changed by -12.62% (from 37.64 to 32.89 over the last 30 days).

 

2. Ormat Technologies Inc. ( ORA): Engages in the geothermal and recovered energy power business worldwide. Market cap at $1.2B, most recent closing price at $26.35.

 

The EPS estimate for the company's current year increased from 0.94 to 1.14 over the last 30 days, an increase of 21.28%.

T his increase came during a time when the stock price changed by 11.81% (from 25.65 to 28.68 over the last 30 days). 

 

3. Otter Tail Corporation ( OTTR): Engages in electric and nonelectric operations in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $1.11B, most recent closing price at $30.61.

 

The EPS estimate for the company's current year increased from 1.59 to 1.69 over the last 30 days, an increase of 6.29%.

This increase came during a time when the stock price changed by 1.6% (from 30.62 to 31.11 over the last 30 days).

 

4. Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA): Designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components. Market cap at $26.73B, most recent closing price at $217.65.

The EPS estimate for the company's current year increased from 1.59 to 1.9 over the last 30 days, an increase of 19.5%.

This increase came during a time when the stock price changed by 16.52% (from 198.23 to 230.97 over the last 30 days).  

(List compiled by James Dennin, a Kapitall Writer. Monthly returns sourced from Zacks Investment Research, all other data sourced from Finviz.)

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