An Unexpected Solar Play

Where will you find the best solar plays? Motley Fool CAPS ranks the top five thusly:

Solar Power Stocks

CAPS stars

(5 max)

AXT (Nasdaq: AXTI  )

*****

ReneSola (NYSE: SOL  )

*****

Amtech Systems

*****

FPL Group (NYSE: FPL  )

*****

Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE  )

*****

Note: Data current as of Aug. 8, 2008.

Notice which companies don't make this list. Suntech Power (NYSE: STP  ) , a top growth stock and a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick, rates five stars in CAPS but isn't in the top five here. LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK  ) reported outstanding quarterly results earlier this month but merits only four stars.

So be it. In investing, where you look is just as important as what you find. And I think I've found something interesting: An up-and-coming solar play in a British defense contractor called QinetiQ Group (OTC BB: QNTQY.PK).

QinetiQ on Sunday said that its unmanned propeller-driven aircraft, the Zephyr, had flown uninterrupted for 83 hours and 37 minutes. That's more than double the record set by a Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) aircraft in 2001. Here's the catch: Zephyr is a solar-powered plane; its wings are covered in silicon arrays. Collected energy is stored in lithium sulfur batteries, News.com reports.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time QinetiQ has been involved in a solar project. The company's most recent financial report provides details of a solar-powered rocket engine created for the European Space Agency (ESA). This "ion" engine, as it's called, will help propel the ESA's soon-to-be launched GOCE Earth explorer into orbit for a detailed study of our planet's gravitational field.

Best of all: QinetiQ sells its American depositary receipts on the Pink Sheets -- a perfectly reasonable place for finding top foreign bargains -- and has a history of producing generous amounts of free cash flow, a rarity for most of the young solar pure plays.

For related Foolishness:

Fool contributor Tim Beyers didn't own shares in any of the stocks mentioned in this article at the time of publication. He hunts for the best of tech as a contributor to Motley Fool Rule Breakers, which counts Suntech Power among its holdings. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is still flying high after all these years.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 714606, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/30/2014 4:07:36 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement