In his second appearance on this roster, Patrick Jobin of Credit Suisse advances from third place to the No. 1 spot. “He’s the top analyst in the space,” affirms one fund manager — “and it isn’t close.” Jobin characterizes the global prospects for U.S. alternative energy names as “bright,” citing solar energy’s cost-competitiveness across multiple segments and geographies, as well as its less than 1.5 percent overall penetration. “It is difficult to ignore the fact that many solar systems are being deployed today based on economic viability alone,” he points out. In addition, lower-cost financing, available partly thanks to the emergence of public-market financing vehicles, is furthering the economic cost-competitiveness of solar energy, he adds, while the growing ability to design systems that combine energy storage with solar is “a potential game changer” for the rooftop solar industry because it can alleviate various policy risks. Given this environment, he is exceptionally bullish on SolarCity Corp. The San Mateo, California–based energy provider is “well-positioned in the residential solar segment, the fastest-growing market,” explains Jobin. Moreover, he forecasts that scale advantages will enable it to gain share and thrive even as a 30 percent investment tax credit for U.S. solar projects is reduced to 10 percent in 2017. His target price of $105 implies a 118.3 percent upside to the stock’s value in mid-September. Jobin also continues to look favorably on SunEdison of Maryland Heights, Missouri, believing that it is set to become “a global renewable energy superpower,” with solar and wind technology platforms, a footprint in such emerging markets as Brazil and Thailand, and a public-market financing platform for both developed and emerging countries. SunEdison’s shares traded at $11.28 in mid-September — and bucking the currently bearish consensus, he foresees a rise to $35. Jobin, 29, graduated from New York University in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in finance. He signed on with Credit Suisse later that year to cover this sector.
Image Credit: Spencer Heyfron