Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is Cree, Inc. (CREE) Likely to Burn Out?

Tom Konrad at AltEnergyStocks was early with his sell call on the solar group last summer. We titled our link to his June '09 post "AltEnergyStocks Cautiously Cautions: Be Cautious":

I get a kick out of Tom Konrad. He's obviously sharp and just as obviously avoids controversy.
That is not to say he's bland, if you looked at a couple of his speculative ideas you might take up roller coaster riding as a meditative respite. (image via Freak Out)

From AltEnergyStocks:
Market Call: We're Near the Peak

The current rally from the March 5 bottom has been breathtaking, especially in Clean Energy, with my Clean Energy Tracking Portfolio up 70.5% since it was assembled at the end of February (as of May 1), 11% higher than it was at the three month update last week, and the S&P 500 is up 41% from its March low. Even in a better economic climate, gains of this magnitude would have me running for cover. In the current economic climate, with a gigantic mountain of debt keeping consumers out of the stores, makes me feel this bear market rally does not have much farther to go....

...Until then, I've been selling covered calls on what I do own, to hedge some of my downside risk....MORE

Despite my nervousness about some solar names I haven't come out negative on the group yet.

In Saturday's "Chinese solar stocks soar as earnings plummet. And: Chinese Solar Index Takes Top Spot"

I said:

We've been beating this drum publicly for two months* and I am starting to feel a bit of acrophobia.... and ...The stocks were also up in late after hours trading Friday but I am feeling skittish and could probably get spooked by someone saying "Boo". Keep those mental stops tight.

In Monday's "Solar: Street Feeling Upbeat After Intersolar Conference (Short 'em?)" it was:

Funny, I was just musing "What level should I start scaling in some shorts?". I'm not kidding.
Time to look at the MACD, grab a Big Mac, be the mac daddy, maybe Mack the Knife*....
Kudos to Tom. He may be a few percentage points early but booking 70% or so sure isn't dumb.
And just yesterday, although I think it could quadruple over 36-48 months, I suggested a partner may want to write some calls on Trina (TSL)!
That said, he is a very good stock-picker and knows his stuff, the PhD notwithstanding. Here's what he wrote three days ago. We sat on it to get through the earnings report (just as we sat on the Tech Trader Daily post "Cree: Brigantine Cuts To Sell Ahead Of Earnings Tonight").
In the case of the Brigantine analyst we figured he had flipped a coin in an attempt to get some publicity, something that is contrary to any reading of fiduciary law and philosophy that I've ever seen.
In Tom's case I just figured he was early. The stock was up almost 17% yesterday.
Here's AltEnergyStocks:

Pioneering light-emitting diode (LED) maker Cree, Inc. looks overvalued.

Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, can be made to shine more brightly by increasing the power to them. This has the unfortunate effect of overheating the leads and shortening the lifespan of the LED. A similar effect may soon hit the stock of LED maker, Cree, Inc. (CREE.)

Since I began the tradition, Cree has been a mainstay of my annual portfolio of ten stocks for the next year, published each January (See the 2008 and 2009 lists. The Cree-free 2010 list is here.) LEDs have been among my favorite alternative energy technologies even longer.

While the S&P 500 fell 22%, and the Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Index (PBW) fell 60%, Cree rose over 210%. Despite my conviction that energy efficiency stocks should be a mainstay of a clean energy portfolio, the company's current valuation makes me think the company has come too far, too fast. At $55, the company is trading at a 109 trailing P/E ratio, and 39 forward P/E based on analysts' consensus estimates....MORE

Here's our post on the earnings: "Cree Crushes Street Estimates; Stock Leaps (CREE)"