Not Your Grandfather's Energy Stocks

Candice is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

I am having a very spiritual week.  I have attended several events that have a ‘Love thy neighbor’ tone this week.   I admire those around me who can truly live this mantra and hope to strive for world peace on an ongoing basis.   In an effort to apply these lessons to my everyday life right away, here are some stocks I see as feeding the soul more than others.

Waste Management (NYSE: WM) – Yes, I know this is a garbage company, but they are really that and so much more.  They have developed a way to turn garbage into energy.  Magic.  Well not exactly, but considering the garbage has been cast aside to rot in a landfill anyway, it might as well be put to some use and this is just the idea on which they are capitalizing.  Garbage as a resource is also not something our modern world seems to be running short on either, so if we use it to heat our homes, we can be assured of a fuel supply for many years to come.  They have also modified their garbage collection trucks to run on fuel they produce at their plants.  Win-Win-Win.  My husband recently attended their sponsored golf tournament in Scottsdale Arizona, which was a zero waste event - meaning that there was only compost and recycling.  No Garbage.  This sounds like a great idea, but it is a challenge to discard plastic waste when you buy a souvenir and need to get it signed by the famous golfers …  Now back to the stock.  The stock price does not go anywhere fast.  Since August 2009 it is only up about 30%, but it does offer a 4% divided to keep you interested.

Solazyme (NASDAQ: SZYM)– This is a very interesting company.  The actually make all kinds of oil from special genetically modified algae.  This means that eventually when we do run out of oil deposits, Solazyme will be there to supply the fuel of the future.  Their current issues are having the infrastructure to produce enough to meet the oil demands of the future at the price at which they currently produce oil.  The company is currently expanding their operations and, thus, has accepted new money invested in the company.  This has diluted the shares and scared off some investors so the stock is selling at over 30% less than a year ago.   They have recently started selling their products at Propel Fuels, which has 34 locations on the West Coast of the US. 

Enernoc (NASDAQ: ENOC) – Contrary to these last two stock recommendations, I usually do not invest in energy stocks, but I really like the way these companies have thought about providing the energy we need but in a new and innovative way.  Enernoc is a company with software and applications to manage the energy grid.  The products analyze a company’s use of energy to find cost savings and operational efficiencies.  I like the idea of efficient use of our electrical grids to provide better use of the resources we already have.  Unfortunately, from the investor’s point of view, the company is not exactly churning out the profits.  Their quarterly reports turned positive for the last published quarter in September but overall they are negative for 2012.  Their latest fiscal year closed on December 31, 2012, so this may give some update as to the state of their financial affairs.  The stock price on the other hand did very well.  The stock price soared over 70% since this time last year.  Definitely an interesting stock but the price leaves a lot to be desired for a company that has only been around since 2001 - and trading on the stock exchange since 2007.  It may be prudent to wait and see what happens to their market before endorsing this green idea. 

Although I am not normally one to invest in energy stocks, investing in companies that are trying to make a difference in a world with insatiable needs for fuel helps me sleep a little better at night.  If I can personally profit from this attempt at innovating for the future, I sleep like a baby.  Thanks for participating in my soul cleansing.  

candimunroe has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends EnerNOC and Waste Management. The Motley Fool owns shares of EnerNOC, Solazyme, and Waste Management. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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