Ecofin Ltd. is an independent, thematic, research-driven investment management firm that specializes in the global utility, infrastructure, alternative energy and environmental sectors. The firm, managed by Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer Bernard Lambilliotte, was founded in 1992. It is based in London and has offices in New York and Hong Kong. Ecofin has roughly $1.5 billion in assets under management and employs 34 people. According to its most recent 13F filing, the fund’s U.S equity portfolio was worth about $594.97 million as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2015, up from $520.32 million at the end of the previous quarter. In this article we’ll take a look at the some of the most relevant moves that the firm made between October and December.
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Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB)
– Shares Owned by Ecofin as of December 31: 1.14 Million
– Value of Holding as of December 31: $29.36 Million
Ecofin disclosed ownership of 1.14 million shares of Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) as of the end of 2015 after increasing its stake in the company by 20% during the fourth quarter. The position, worth more than $29.35 million, is the fifth-largest in the fund’s portfolio, and accounts for almost 5% of its total market value. Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) last reported earnings in late-October, which beat the Street’s consensus of $0.17 per share on the income front, with earnings of $0.22 per share, but revenue of $1.80 billion fell well short of expectations for $2.01 billion. The firm will announce its fourth quarter financial results next Wednesday. Also quite bullish on the energy infrastructure company was Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital, which disclosed in early-December an increase to its holding of the stock, more than doubling it to 41.96 million shares, becoming one of the largest institutional investors of record in the company.
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR)
– Shares Owned by Ecofin as of December 31: 1.04 Million
– Value of Holding as of December 31: $31.23 Million
Ecofin also boosted its stake in SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), by 21%, over the fourth quarter of 2015. Over the same period, the stock gained almost 50%, aided by the extension of the solar investment tax credit (ITC) in the U.S. The firm, also set to report its fourth quarter results next Wednesday, February 17, last posted earnings of $0.13 per share on revenue of $441.4 million, comfortably beating the Street’s estimates of flat earnings and $418.33 million in revenue. As of the end of the third quarter of 2015, 20 funds among those that we track held long stakes in SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR). Among them, Mike Masters’ Masters Capital Management declared owning 935,000 shares of the company, worth more than $18.73 million as of the end of September.
On the next page we will look into Ecofin’s moves at First Solar, Delphi Automotive, and Solaredge Technologies.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR)
– Shares Owned by Ecofin as of December 31: 796,565
– Value of Holding as of December 31: $52.57 Million
Unlike its peers above, First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) saw Ecofin trim its position in the company, by 19%, during the fourth quarter. However, the stock maintained its place as the third-most valuable position in the fund’s portfolio, same as in the previous quarter, accounting for roughly 8.8% of its total value. It should be noted that over the period in question, the shares of First Solar surged by over 54%, aided by the aforementioned extension of the ITC and an earnings beat, among other things. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) delivered EPS of $3.38 on revenue of $1.27 billion, substantially above the Street’s consensus of EPS of $1.52 and revenue of $1.10 billion. At one point over the same quarter, Columbus Circle Investors, the hedge fund managed by Clifford G. Fox started a stake in the company, comprising 380,090 shares, worth more than $25 million.
Delphi Automotive PLC (NYSE:DLPH)
– Shares Owned by Ecofin as of December 31: 299,556
– Value of Holding as of December 31: $25.68 Million
One of Ecofin’s most bullish moves of the fourth quarter was the one it made in its Delphi Automotive PLC (NYSE:DLPH) position, which it increased by 58%, disclosing ownership of 299,556 shares worth more than $25 million as of the end of 2015. Last week, Delphi Automotive PLC (NYSE:DLPH) announced that it earned $1.39 per share in the fourth quarter of 2015, beating expectations by $0.01. Revenue of $3.88 billion, up by 2.6% year-over-year, also came in $100 million ahead of estimates. The company had also posted an earnings beat in the prior quarter. There were 40 funds in our database that disclosed long stakes in the company as of the end of the third quarter of 2015.
Solaredge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG)
– Shares Owned by Ecofin as of December 31: 837,398
– Value of Holding as of December 31: $23.59 Million
Finally, there’s Solaredge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG), a small-cap provider of solar power harvesting and photovoltaic (PV) monitoring solutions, in which Ecofin started a position comprising 837,398 shares during the fourth quarter. Solaredge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG) recently reported its second quarter of fiscal year 2016 financial results, which included earnings of $0.44 per share and revenue of $124.83 million, both above the Street’s consensus of $0.37 per share and $118.6 million respectively. On the other hand, Michael R. Weisberg’s Crestwood Capital Management disposed of 156,000 shares of the company over the fourth quarter, trimming its holding to 115,958 shares worth about $3.26 million.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.