NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Stimulus Funds Helped Some Stocks Soar

November 22, 2011

As Congress and the White House launch investigations into renewable-energy loan guarantees made to companies such as Solyndra under the 2009 stimulus bill and related legislation, a USA Today analysis shows that a series of public companies that got help have soundly beaten the stock market and most venture-capital funds raised in 2008.

The analysis covered more than 45 companies that are public or have registered for initial public offerings (IPOs), and a small selection of the 5,000-plus companies and local government agencies that got clean-energy stimulus grants.  Separately, USA Today looked at the recipients of all 38 completed or pending loan guarantees under the Energy Department's three major financing programs.  In all, the included companies, or their customers, are to receive more than two-thirds of the technology funding.

  • At least 19 companies have gone public or filed for IPOs after getting stimulus money.
  • The stimulus has helped spark an 82 percent gain in the stocks of 11 health care technology companies since President Obama took office and a 263 percent gain in the three public companies that took $7.8 billion of federal financing to build next-generation vehicle factories.
  • It contributed to a 79 percent jump in stocks of the four leading energy-efficiency companies, including diversified companies such as Johnson Controls and Honeywell.
  • Companies involved in developing smart electric grids -- nine big tech firms that are also in many other businesses -- have risen 54 percent.

All these match or exceed the 51 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, and beat the 4.9 percent average annual gain in venture funds raised in 2008, according to Cambridge Associates.  The big exception is that the five solar-power companies and advanced-battery manufacturers have fallen 70 percent.  Similarly, among the loan-guarantee recipients examined, solar power-related companies such as Solyndra and energy storage companies such as Beacon Power, which filed for bankruptcy reorganization October 31, have fared the worst.

Source: Tim Mullaney, "Stimulus Funds Helped Some Stocks Soar," USA Today, November 21, 2011.

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