Ocean tech stocks are seeing a resurgence recently, as ongoing sustainability concerns shift investor attention towards the open seas. Companies as diverse as wind farming, desalination, shipping, and more all leverage the deep blue sea to improve our global climate impact.
But not all ocean tech stocks are created equally. Unfortunately, many small companies exist as little more than a hope of possible profitability one day. While many have noble goals, today’s economy demands a bit more than a wish and a prayer. These ocean stocks represent the best in class, with operational viability and proven profitability.
Clean Harbors (CLH)
Clean Harbors (NYSE:CLH) shares are running in 2023. This ocean tech stock saw shares climb by roughly 50% since January. But there’s still an upside for this environmental ocean cleanup company.
The company gained prominence for its involvement in the cleanup efforts after the 9/11 attacks and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But these high-profile events were just the start of its journey. Today, the company is poised for further growth, with founder Alan McKim taking on the role of technology chief. His emphasis on leveraging technology and software to enhance operations opens new growth prospects for Clean Harbors. His renewed emphasis includes artificial intelligence and cloud computing solutions to its operational model.
This week, CLH announced a hefty $500 million share buyback program, indicating the company is financially fluid enough to return value to shareholders while reinvigorating its internal tech systems.
Tetra Tech (TTEK)
Tetra Tech (NASDAQ:TTEK) is an ocean tech stock deep embedded within environmental cleanup and water management operations. The company’s innovative projects include real-time monitoring and management systems that prevent flooding by managing overflow.
In California, Tetra Tech is helping with perennial drought conditions that couple ancient strategies with next-gen tech. TTEK developed a “smart cistern system” that predicts rainfall amounts, assesses cistern capacity, and strategically releases water to replenish local underground aquifers, a crucial source of the city’s water supply.
Analysts love this ocean tech stock, with 67% calling it a Buy and price targets indicating 13% undervaluation. In my mind, the company is a bit overvalued. Shares trade at more than 6x price-to-book, which is somewhat high for a company directly adjacent to utilities. Still, ocean tech is a growing sector considering global sustainability goals, so this stock remains a safe bet.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) is a hot ocean tech stock focused on clean drinking water through desalination via its subsidiary Nalco Water. As water scarcity concerns rise, analysts expect desalination to become a massive industry growing at 8% CAGR. Per company vice president Christophe Beck, “Diminishing access to clean water is one of the greatest risks facing the world today [and] Ecolab’s unique water and hygiene solutions, automation expertise and team of 25,000 on-site experts have long provided superior solutions for our customers.”
Via an investment in third-party firm Aquatech, Ecolab facilitated more than 1.500 desalination and ocean tech projects. Ecolab also stands as a diversified option for ocean tech investors as it owns and operates a slew of environmental, cleanup, and sanitation services.
On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held no positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.