Zacks Investment Ideas Feature Highlights: Cameco, Shaw Group, Energy Solutions and Uranium Resources

Mar 14, 2011, 10:02 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Features: Cameco Corp. (NYSE: CCJ), Shaw Group, Inc. (NYSE: SHAW), Energy Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: ES) and Uranium Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: URRE).

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Blast Off with Nuclear Stocks

Yes, it is very expensive to build a nuclear plant, but there are many other market forces and trends supporting its development.

At the top, nuclear energy produces no harmful emissions. That in and of itself is a huge deal that blows its competitors out of the water.

Similarly, nuclear energy produces very little waste, much less waste than burning fossil fuels. And the waste that is created from nuclear is contained, treated and stored to shield it from the environment and human beings.

We mentioned that nuclear plants are expensive to build, that is most definitely true. But nuclear plants have an incredibly long life span up to 40 years, so once the installation is complete you are looking at a highly reliable source of energy for many years to come.

And finally, nuclear is safe. There are exactly zero deaths in the United States related to commercial nuclear energy. Driving your car to work is infinitely more dangerous than nuclear power, another feather in the cap of this progressive energy solution.

So now that we have a theme, let's go ahead and take a look at our favorite stocks in the sector.

Top 4 Nuclear Stocks

Cameco Corp. (NYSE: CCJ) is the world's largest uranium miner and has a market cap of $15 billion. Uranium is a key ingredient for nuclear reactions, so this is a great way to get exposure to a growing nuclear trend. Analysts are looking for 27% earnings growth next year, meaning shares have value, trading with a PEG ratio of .93%, below the benchmark of 1 for value. Before recent market weakness, shares had been ripping higher.

Shaw Group, Inc. (NYSE: SHAW) is a builder of nuclear plants and facilities and has a market cap of $3.3 billion. Shaw has been strong in the up market of the last year, with shares recently hitting an all-time high on a Q4 earnings surprise of 86%. With analysts looking for 50% earnings growth next year, SHAW is another good way to play nuclear.

Energy Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: ES) provides waste management and disposal services for nuclear plants and has a market cap of $599 million. This is a fairly niche market, with ES as the only listed name I found in nuclear waste disposal services. This stock has definitely seen its fair share of volatility, but with the short-term trend strengthening, it could be a chance to buy on a long-term dip.

Uranium Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: URRE) is a small-cap miner with the world's 5th largest reserves of uranium and a market cap of $223 million. This is probably the highest risk/reward stock of the lot, so expect volatility. But if uranium demand picks up on nuclear growth, this could be a target for a buyout.

The Takeaway

So even though nuclear energy isn't exactly burning up the chat rooms right now, it could be a chance to get in ahead of the masses and pick up some solid long-term gains.

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