Try “googling” popular investment media for “renewable energy” stocks—odds are you’ll be bombarded by references to Tesla Inc (NSDQ: TSLA), and otherwise scores of earnings-free companies you’ve never heard of.
That description fits to a “T” the vast majority of the 88 members of the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index (NEX). The index itself is up nearly 50 percent year-to-date.
But you have to read down to the 20th largest holding—Vestas Wind Systems (Denmark: VWS, OTC: VWSYF)—to find a company that’s consistently demonstrated the ability to turn a profit. And the highest weighted producer of electricity doesn’t turn up until offshore wind generator Orstead A/S (Denmark: ORSTED, OTC: DNNGY) in 45th place.
The result is a group of companies trading on promises of what they might become, rather than what they’ve actually proven as businesses. This year’s stock performance shows you can make money trading them. But with less than perfect timing, you’ll run the risk of buying into hype-driven momentum that can quickly reverse.
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