Friday, March 7, 2008

Energized alternatives: Fund manager sees power plays with Itron, Corning, Suntech (ALTEX; ITRI; GLW; STP)

From MarketWatch:

Alternative energy has become one of the catch-all terms to describe power generated from non-traditional sources such as coal or oil. It's also been a term that many companies have quickly tried to associate with their operations.

Kevin Landis says interest in alternative energy has led to a mix of old-economy stalwarts and new technology upstarts getting in on the market. And as the manager of the Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund... knows, the growth of alternative energy has also led to more interest in portfolios that hold those companies' shares.

Increasing demand for alternative energy led Landis to set up this specialized fund in October. "We had been noticing more and more of the best investments had been in alternative energy," Landis said. "We look at clean technologies and felt there were finally enough public companies to start a fund."

Since the start of the year, the fund has lost about 9.3% as the entire stock market has mostly been in retreat, but it trails the 1.7% average decline for its natural resources peers, according to fund-tracker Lipper Inc.

Among the stocks Landis rates highly is Itron Inc....MORE