Are Yieldcos A No Go?

A little over a year ago we looked at a new income vehicle called a yieldco which was highlighted in Barron’s. Over the weekend Barron’s provided an update on the still small niche and basically they’ve had a rough go in the last three or four months although I should note that for the six months prior they were white hot. Along the way GlobalX listed a fund that tracks the space and although not charted below it has also gone down considerably in the last few months.

The following chart from Google Finance (symbols erased for compliance reasons) gives a sense of what has gone on since early June.

As a refresher that first Barron’s article defined yieldcos as “a spinoff of renewable-energy companies, principally solar-power outfits, that is supposed to offer a solid dividend supported by stable cash flows and a high payout ratio.” A yield oriented niche that may not be directly sensitive to rising interest rates is worth learning about.

There are similarities between yieldcos and MLPs in terms of being based on cash flows and having high payout ratios and while that taxation is not the same, Barron’s posited that they soon could be, at least some of them anyway.