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Investing in the Planet: 3 Top Green Stocks

investing in the planet green stocks

With the spotlight on environmental issues, many investors have been looking into green stocks. Green stocks are businesses involved in sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices, ranging from production of solar panels and hybrid/electric vehicle parts to tech-related pursuits such as IP trunking and designing energy-efficient data centers. Any significant effort to reduce energy consumption (and save companies money in the process) can make a company ‘green’.

This sector is comprised of many different industries, but all green stocks are committed to saving businesses and the world money by providing environmentally-friendly solutions. Additionally, numerous government incentives have caused more and more businesses to go green just to cash in on its financial advantages.

Investors are noticing this sea of change toward ecological awareness in businesses around the world, and they are putting money into green businesses that they believe will take advantage of the growing trend. Green stocks may be small, highly-focused companies like First Solar (FSLR) or huge corporate entities like Google (GOOG); the only thing that makes a stock green is the company’s commitment to environmentally-friendly products and practices.

Read on for a list of three top green stocks going into 2012! These are likely poised for growth thanks to the rising awareness of how going green saves money and the planet.

1) First Solar (FSLR)

A leader in solar energy, First Solar is headquartered in Arizona but has manufacturing plants all over the world. The company is just beginning its entry into the international solar energy marketplace, with its main being focus on next-generation solar technologies. With a foot in almost all related photovoltaic tech, equipment, and devices, First Solar focuses on providing high-efficiency panels and next-gen appliances at low costs.

First Solar capitalizes on its solar tech understanding and is an industry leader. Its main customers are government groups and large corporations who can afford to purchase in bulk and for whom efficiency and a definitive cost-savings advantage make Evolution a smart choice. Its major markets are currently in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Analysts expect that First Solar, whose stock price currently hovers around $45/share, is right at the bottom of its downtrend and will soon begin trending up.

2) Solazyme (SZYM)

A major producer of algae biofuels, Solazyme is on the cutting edge of alternative fuel production. Algae biofuel can be used in place of gasoline — the oils created as a byproduct of the pressing process have a number of other purposes in the nutritional supplement and skin care industries as well. Solazyme uses its algae-producing and pressing factories to cross into these well-established industries. This gives the company a level of diversity missing from many other green businesses, and many market watchers predict it will serve the company well.

The company just recently had its IPO, and analysts believe the initial excitement over the company has waned to a level of reality. Its stock price has steadily dropped despite its great credentials, and with plans for expansion and a number of high-profile clients, including Chevron, Dow Chemicals, Sephora and the U.S. Navy, Solazyme is poised to perform in 2012.

3) EnerNOC (ENOC)

EnerNOC provides energy efficiency solutions to energy companies, allowing them to reduce emissions and costs while providing stable energy grid solutions. It is effectively a smart grid company, transforming existing energy infrastructure into high-efficiency systems. And it provides energy producers with demand-side management solutions such as Demand Response (DR).

Having turned a consistent profit over the past few years, since its IPO, ENOC gives a nice dividend despite its relatively low stock price. Over the past year, the stock’s price has faltered, but the company’s performance has only strengthened. Investors are starting to look at EnerNOC with interest, as they believe it is undervalued for the company’s reach and good business practices. It is only a matter of time, analysts say, before the company’s stock price begins to rise again.

Image source: Energy-Wise-Homes

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