Canada’s tiny cleantech sector is marred by a history of misteps into solar and wind energy and today exists as a fragmented collection of companies that might be better described as Special Situations.
The S&P/TSX Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Index, which consists of disparate companies such as Ballard Power, Clearwater Seafoods and Cascades, always seems to wind up essentially even, which in 2015 made it a safe haven for investors seeking shelter from the double-digit losses of the larger composite index.
We count down the top ten Canadian cleantech stocks of 2015. All companies listed on the TSX Cleantech Index were eligible, excepting those under ten cents or that did not have a full year of trading under their belt.
1. PFB Corporation (TSX:PFB) +141.3%
Price on December 31, 2014: $4.35
Price on December 31, 2015: $10.50
Shares of Calgary-based PFB, which specializes in insulating building products that increase energy efficiency, experienced a steady rise throughout 2015. In its third quarter results, reported in late October, the company earned $0.33 a share, ten cents higher than its earnings in 2014’s Q3.
2. BIOX (TSX:BX) +139.3%
Price on December 31, 2014: $0.33
Price on December 31, 2015: $0.79
Hamilton-based BIOX owns and operates a 67 million liter per annum biodiesel production facility in its home town. On December 9th the company reported fiscal 2015 results that saw its topline climb from $17.7-million to $18.3-million.
3. New Flyer Industries (TSX:NFI) +110.5%
Price on December 31, 2014: $13.45
Price on December 31, 2015: $28.32
Winnipeg-based bus manufacturer New Flyer posted a terrific year, but some think the company still has upside. On January 4, CIBC raised its one-year target on the stock from C$28.50 to C$32.00.
4. Carmanah Technologies (TSX:CMH) +95.2%
Price on December 31, 2014: $2.91
Price on December 31, 2015: $5.68
The long up and down history of Victoria’s Carmanah took a decided turn north in 2015. Talking to the Globe and Mail in late-September, one analyst said he thought there was more upside.
“It’s a turnaround story that has so far proven to be successful,” said Salman Partners analyst Mike Plaster. “It’s a good growth story that perhaps isn’t fully known and recognized compared to many other stocks. It has flown below the radar screen, which also makes it interesting.”
5. DIRTT Environmental (TSX:DRT) +92.8%
Price on December 31, 2014: $3.60
Price on December 31, 2015: $6.94
Last year’s winner of Cantech Letter’s Canadian Cleantech Stock of the Year, Calgary-based custom interiors company DIRTT (an acronym for “Doing It Right This Time”) saw its stock rise early in 2015 and hold on to its gains.
6. Cascades (TSX:CAS) +81%
Price on December 31, 2014: $7.02
Price on December 31, 2015: $12.71
Shares of Quebec-based Cascades, which makes recycled bathroom tissue, facial tissue, paper napkins and industrial wipes, went on a march in late 2015 on the back of ever-improving financials.
7. Orbite Technologies (TSX:ORT) +69.2%
Price on December 31, 2014: $0.26
Price on December 31, 2015: $0.44
Shares of Quebec-based Orbite, which owns a proprietary technology that converts industrial waste into rare earth metals, rose in September after the company announced it had begun to ship samples of high-purity alumina (HPA) to prospective customers. HPA is used in various tech applications, including the the manufacture of LED based lighting, in semiconductors used in electronic devices, in plasma TVs, and in lithium-ion batteries.
8. U S Geothermal (TSX:GTH) +67.3%
Price on December 31, 2014: $0.52
Price on December 31, 2015: $0.87
U.S. Geothermal’s upbeat year was also its Canadian swan-song. Early in December, the company announced it would voluntarily delist from the TSX on Dec 31, and that its shares would continue to trade under its existing stock symbol “HTM” on the NYSE MKT LLC (“NYSE”).
9. Alterra Power (TSX:AXY) +41.5%
Price on December 31, 2014: $0.325
Price on December 31, 2015: $0.46
Alterra, which was called once named Magma Energy, was founded by mining impresario Ross Beaty in 2008 and changed its name after a 2011 merger with Vancouver’s Plutonic Power. Today, the company has an array of renewable energy projects.
10. Northland Power (TSX:NPI) +21%
Price on December 31, 2014: $15.42
Price on December 31, 2015: $18.66
Founded in 1987, Toronto-based Northland Power spent much of its public life, which began a decade later, as an income fund. The company converted to a publicly listed corporation on the first day of 2011. Back in the eighties, Northland’s first renewable energy project was tackling the waste problem of a mill in Cochrane, Ontario. The result was was the first Canadian thermal plant to use unprocessed wood chips as fuel. Northland has since established interests solar, wind energy generation, biomass and run-of-river projects.