4 Green Technology Stocks That Could Be Next Week's Big Movers

Find out why these companies, offering new and exciting technologies, could see their stocks make outsized moves next week.

Feb 23, 2014 at 2:30PM

As our planet's natural resources get stretched thinner and thinner, companies that can provide the technology to help power our future -- and help us adapt to new realities -- stand to gain a lot of cash. So, too, do the shareholders in those companies. That's why investing in green technology stocks has become so popular.

Green Tech

Source: Eyeliam, via Wikimedia Commons.

That being said, it's never a smooth and steady ride when you're investing in organizations that are trying to change the way we consume power. For the four green technology stocks covered here, the ride will likely be especially bumpy next week. That's because each is heavily shorted, and is reporting earnings.

Here's a look at what Wall Street is expecting from these companies, as well as a broader look into what each does:


% of Shares Short


Expected Revenue (Millions)

Expected EPS

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)










Solazyme (NASDAQ:SZYM)





Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE)





Sources: finviz.com, E*Trade.

First Solar
Investors in this manufacturer of solar components have enjoyed a great ride lately. Since June of last year, shares are up over 380%. That's thanks in large part to its preeminent position in large-scale solar projects.

But the company itself has been falling behind its peers when it comes to the efficiency of its components and overall capacity utilization. Couple that with a few vertically integrated solar-leasing companies (more on that in a second) that are starting to win over market share, and you have recipe for a stock that the market has no problem betting against.

This company represents one of those vertically integrated organizations I mentioned. If you, as a residential homeowner, want solar to power your house, SolarCity is one of the big names to help you get there.

The company will pay for all of the upfront and maintenance costs, in return for utility payments over the next 20 years. The benefit for homeowners, other than not having to front the infrastructure investment, is that the payments are usually less than what the standard utility provider would charge.

The problem with the business model is that it's hard to value. The company is spending tons of money right now in return for payments over the life of contracts, and it's assuming that most of those contracts will be re-signed after the 20-year term is up. It may take quite a while before Wall Street can get a handle on how much this upstart company is worth. In the meantime, investors should be prepared for some big moves.

Solazyme has a unique technology that centers on the ability of patented microalgae to digest different types of stock (sugars, corn, and the like) and spit out patented oils for use as fuel or chemicals, or even in the beauty and health industries.

Right now, the technology is just scaling up. Solazyme has yet to turn a profit and relies on cheap inputs, such as sugars from Brazil. Both of those factors give bears a reason to short the stock, particularly because as more biotechnology companies join the scene, commodity prices for such inputs could rise.

Clean Energy Fuels
Clean Energy is based on the principle that shifting our fuel consumption to natural gas will reduce emissions markedly over the years. The company's role in this paradigm shift is in building out fuel stations that make driving natural-gas-powered vehicles a practical option for today's trucking fleets.

But the conversion has been slower than some might like, and environmental organizations are beginning to question whether natural gas really is the best way to combat climate change. Such uncertainty, lack of critical business momentum, and a history that has yet to include a profitable fiscal year all make it easy for shorts to bet against the near-term success of Clean Energy's stock.

Better bets for your energy dollars
There's no doubt our energy landscape is changing, but it isn't easy picking the winners. Warren Buffett is so confident in one company's can't-live-without-it business model, he just loaded up on 8.8 million shares. In an exclusive, brand-new Motley Fool report, we reveal the company we're calling OPEC's Worst Nightmare. Just click here to uncover the name of this industry-leading stock, and join Buffett in his quest for a veritable landslide of profits!

Brian Stoffel owns shares of SolarCity. The Motley Fool recommends Clean Energy Fuels and SolarCity and owns shares of SolarCity and Solazyme. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information