It’s been a down-in-the-dumps sector for months now as interest in cleantech and renewable resource companies has lagged since hitting its peak earlier in the year. The S&P/TSX Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Index, for example, doubled between the start of 2020 and mid-February 2021, only to lose almost 30 per cent of its value over the ensuing months.
But the future for cleantech is still bright, as green and climate-friendly programs remain front and centre for industry and governments worldwide. And with plenty of cleantech companies to choose from right in our own backyard, Canadian investors don’t have to look far afield to take part. Here in no particular order are three names from the space, all with Buy ratings from analysts.
We start with Quebec-based H2O Innovation (H2O Innovation Stock Quote, Charts, News, Analysts, Financials TSX:HEO) which has been working in the water infrastructure business for two decades now, implementing its integrated water treatment solutions now across North America and globally. Last month, the company reported fiscal 2021 year-end numbers which showed promising growth during the difficult pandemic period. H2O hit $144.3 million in revenue for the fiscal year, up from $133.6 million for the previous period, while adjusted EBITDA was $14.6 million compared to $12.5 million for fiscal 2020.
Earlier this month, H2O announced a set of new contracts including for a water reuse system for a major client in Escondido, California. Commenting on the contracts, Haywood Capital Markets analyst Colin Healey said H2O is set to benefit from infrastructure upgrades in the US and Canada.
“The US Infrastructure and Jobs Act earmarked $1 billion for water recycling programs over the next five years. With H2O positioning itself at the forefront of water reuse/recycling technology, we could see the company a strong contender for further contract wins in this space over the next few years. Meanwhile, as of March 31, 2021, the Government of Canada has invested $2.05 billion to support water and wastewater-related infrastructure projects for First Nations communities,” wrote Healey in an October 5 report.
With his update, Healey maintained his “Buy” rating and $4.00 target price for HEO, saying the shares are currently trading at attractive levels, representing at the time a multiple of 1.4x EV/Revenue on his calendar 2021 estimate compared to the industry peer group average at 3.0x. Healey’s $4.00 target represented a projected 12-month return of 74.7 per cent (all targets are represented as of the respective analyst report publication date).
From a different angle, Vancouver-based good natured products (good natured products Stock Quote, Charts, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:GDNP) is a packaging and consumer products company with its offerings primarily made from renewable, plant-based materials including bioplastic rollstock and home and business organizational products.
The company has made huge strides over the past 12 months, with its share price up over 230 per cent over that period. Releasing its second quarter numbers in late August, GDNP reported $12.4 million in revenue, which was slightly ahead of the consensus call for $12.2 million, and adjusted EBITDA of negative $175,000 compared to the consensus $100,000.
But strong demand should keep the company and stock growing for a while yet, according to Beacon Securities analyst Ahmad Shaath, who said the continued reopening of economies should be a boon for good natured.
The company recently launched a slew of plant-based flexible packaging products (bin bags, zipper bags) as Net Debt well as retail-packed compostable tableware (plates, bowls, hot cups and cutlery),” said Shaath in an August 26 update to clients. “In anticipation of stronger 2H/FY21E, the company EV continued to build its inventory levels and increased its staffing levels. With continued cost inflation and logistical challenges globally, the company’s margins in 2H/FY21E will be marginally impacted. Note that global shipping delays also impacted the delivery of faster extrusion line (by +~1 month) that is to be installed at IPF, which is now slated to start in September and be ready fully commissioned at the start of FY22E (no impact to our forecast).”
With his update, Shaath reiterated his “Buy” rating and $2.15 target for GDNP, which represented a potential return of 126 per cent.
Finally, we have Terrebonne, Quebec-based Loop Industries (Loop Industries Stock Quote, Charts, News, Analysts, Financials NASDAQ:LOOP), also in the CPG space where it makes PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic and polyester fibre made from 100 per cent recycled content. The company has a patented technology to break down waste PET into base chemicals and then recombines them into virgin-quality PET plastic and polyester fibre.
Still in the pre-sales stage, Loop has already racked up supply agreements with a number of major CPG players like PepsiCo and Danone and it recently unveiled a 100 per cent recycled PET prototype bottle with Evian.
Looking at Loop’s potential, Paradigm Capital analyst Corey Hammill said the company is on track for the build-out of three plants up and running by 2025, with the Evian rollout to start in 2022 in South Korea.
“Loop’s unique 100 per cent recycled product is expected to command a premium price, generating very strong economics, to maintain a 45–50 per cent EBITDA margin and 20 per cent + IRRs at each of its production facilities. With an estimated EBITDA generation of +$75 million per full-scale plant (assuming 100 per cent ownership), and a goal of ten plants by 2030, we see meaningful EBITDA growth over the next decade,” said Hammill in an October 20 note to clients.
With his update, Hammill reiterated his “Buy” rating and 12-month target of US$21.00, representing a projected return of 63 per cent.