Cleantech investors in most any segment of the market know about ups and downs. The mix of public and private participation, general technology risk, and unpredictable investor sentiment have had their go at solar, wind and water alike.
But in Canada, cleantech is currently in a decided and lengthy upswing.
Since 2009, the value of the sector has grown from $6.4-billion to approximately $20-billion today. There are now, in fact, more renewable energy and clean technology companies listed on TSX/TSXV than on any other exchange in the world.
While many investors have focused on the sector rotation from resources to technology, the innovation sectors as a whole are helping pace a broader move towards growth. Looking across tech, life sciences and cleantech, investors will find many triple-digit gainers.
We count down the ten best performing cleantech stocks on the TSX this year.
1. Electrovaya (TSX:EFL) +203%
Price on December 31, 2012: $.33
Price on October 29, 2013: $1.00
Shares of Electrovaya spiked in January after receiving an order for its lithium ion batteries from DonFeng Motors for that company’s electric vehicle program in China. The stock took another leg up after the company announced a similar order from an unnamed OEM in the United Arab Emirates.
2. GLV Inc. (TSX:GLV.B) +157%
Price on December 31, 2012: $1.75
Price on October 29, 2013: $4.50
Montreal-based water treatment company GLV Inc. has had a steady rise throughout 2013 on the back on continued contract wins. The company recently booked a $28-million contract with the City of Canton, Ohio. GLV will build to build North America’s largest membrane bioreactor filtration system to treat waste water.
3. Ballard Power (TSX:BLD) +139%
Price on December 31, 2012: $.61
Price on October 29, 2013: $1.46
Casual observers of the cleantech space might not know that Ballard Power has gone through a massive reinvention of itself in recent years. The company now provides fuel cell systems for things like telecom backup power and is benefiting from a recent renewed interest in hydrogen as an energy source for vehicles.
4. SunOpta (TSX:SOY) +104%
Price on December 31, 2012: $5.60
Price on October 29, 2013: $11.45
SunOpta, as its ticker symbol suggests, is a company that specializes in organic and specialty food items. In August, the company posted record second quarter revenues of $311.2-million, an increase of 10.2% over the same period a year prior. CEO Steve Bromley said the company was benefiting from a broad trend. “There is no doubt that interest in healthy eating continues to grow,” he said. “We believe we are well positioned to capitalize on future growth as consumers around the world increase their interest in healthy eating and healthy living.”
5. Hydrogenics (TSX:HYG) +89%
Price on December 31, 2012: $6.75
Price on October 29, 2013: $12.75
Byron Capital analyst Dev Bhangui says after posting losses for many years, Hydrogenics is positioned extremely well as a hydrogen energy pure play. He says that while numerous technologies have been fighting for space in the renewable energy storage market, hydrogen-based solutions have a clear edge because they are simple, high capacity, flexible and economical.
6. Alter NRG Corp (TSX:NRG) +75.7%
Price on December 31, 2012: $.37
Price on October 29, 2013: $.65
Share of plasma gasification player Alter NRG have been on the move since this past summer, when it reported Q2 revenue of $4.3-million, up 10% from 2012’s second quarter. CEO Walt Howard says the company’s technology is moving into the mainstream mindset. “Our evolution to a recognized commercial leader has been very evident through the quality of the speaking opportunities to which we are being invited,” he said in Q2 note to shareholders. “Recently, we were a featured company for the U.S Energy Administration at their annual event and I had the good fortune to discuss our commercial success in front of some of the nation’s top energy Companies.”
7. Etrion SA (TSX:ETX) +70%
Price on December 31, 2012: $.37
Price on October 29, 2013: $.63
Solar power producer Etrion caught fire in late September after announcing it had secured a (US) $42-million loan from a company affiliated with its largest shareholder; the Lundin family. The company said the cash would be used to finance solar projects in Chile.
8. WaterFurnace Renewable Energy (TSX:WFI) +64%
Price on December 31, 2012: $14.44
Price on October 29, 2013: $23.66
After a string of soft quarters, Waterfurnace, which designs and manufactures geothermal and water-source systems, saw its cost cutting measures begin to take hold in 2013. Q2 operating expenses were down 11.3% against the same period in 2012.
9. Clearwater Seafoods (TSX:CLR) +47.5%
Price on December 31, 2012: $4
Price on October 29, 2013: $5.90
Shares of Clearwater, which is one of North America’s largest vertically integrated seafood companies, have been rising for a year on what the company calls “strong and growing demand”. In the company’s second quarter, reported in August, Clearwater posted sales of $95.4 million, up from $85.0 million in 2012’s Q2.
10. Village Farms International (TSX:VFF) +46.3%
Price on December 31, 2012: $.82
Price on October 29th, 2013: $1.20
Delta, B.C.-based Village Farms operates agricultural greenhouse facilities to grow peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. The company’s Q2 topline of $40.86-million was aided by a rebound in tomato prices, which the company says are up 39% over 2012.