What: Shares of energy-management and energy-efficiency company Ameresco (NYSE:AMRC) are up 13.5% as of 3:30 p.m. ET.
So what: There was really no news today that would have a material impact on Ameresco's shares. The only thing of note was that the company announced yesterday that it plans to report its first-quarter 2016 results on May 5t. With the S&P 500 and the NYSE Composite indexes gaining around 1% today, it seems that Ameresco's thinly traded stock is riding the overall good news.
Now what: In terms of today, this stock price gain is one of those "nothing to see here, people" kind of moments. If you already have an investing thesis established for Ameresco, today doesn't change anything.
When it does report its first-quarter earnings in a couple of weeks, there are some questions that could be answered. First and foremost is whether the company can start to grow revenue after several years of flat sales while operational expenses have continued to inch up. CEO George Sakellaris has gone on the record that it plans to address some of these issues and streamline its structure at some of its subsidiaries, and this quarter is when we could start to see the fruits of those labors.
There is also the question as to how the solar investment tax credit extension will play out for the company. At the end of 2015, Congress decided to extend the 30% investment tax credit for solar installments that was set to expire this year, but now will run until 2020. It could be a blessing in terms of generating a longer runway of investments in alternative energy investments, but we could also see some further weakness this quarter and this year as potential customers may not be as rushed to line up and get projects done before the extension was set to expire.
Today is just another reminder that Ameresco is a company with a thinly traded stock and a small market cap, and can move a lot on any given day. It's probably best to wait and see what next quarter's results have to say before making any big decisions.