First Solar Analyst Day: Conservative Growth Plans In Spite Of Exceptional Roadmap
EnerTuition • 23 Comments
EnerTuition • 23 Comments
First Solar Sets Far Too Conservative Guidance
EnerTuition • 29 Comments
EnerTuition • 29 Comments
First Solar Proves Solar Skeptics Wrong Again
Jan. 21, 2014, 1:18 PM
- New German energy minister Sigmar Gabriel has outlined fresh solar, wind, and biogas subsidy cuts. The proposed cuts, which have already drawn criticism from politicians and the local solar industry, would come on top of 2012 cuts imposed by Europe's largest solar market.
- Citing a wish to curb electricity bill increases caused by renewable energy subsidies, Gabriel is proposing (among other things) to lower Germany's renewable feed-in tariff to €0.12/kWH from €0.17/kWh, and to limit annual solar capacity expansion to 2.5GW.
- He also proposes operators of new 500KW or larger solar plants sell their electricity directly by 2015, and to replace feed-in tariffs with a tender system by 2017. In addition, a self-consumption surcharge is proposed for certain new solar installations.
- Solar stocks are seeing some profit-taking (TAN -2.6%) following the news. Notable decliners: FSLR -2.3%. JKS -2.9%. SUNE -2.8%. DQ -3.3%. YGE -2.8%. SOL -2.6%. SOL -2.6%. TSL -1.5%. CSUN -2.1%.
Jan. 7, 2014, 1:05 PM
- Solar stocks started 2014 with a bang, and are adding to their momentum today (TAN +4%) with the help of positive industry and company-specific news.
- The Chinese government, which last year set a 35GW 2015 cumulative installation target, is now promising additional support, and says it will draft guidelines for industry M&A. Consolidation with China's fragmented solar cell/module market could both lower overcapacity (already declining thanks to rising demand) and lead to further margin expansion.
- Yingli (YGE +8.7%) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ +7.4%), both of which saw huge 2013 gains, are today's biggest gainers. Yingli has announced it's forming a JV with state-owned China National Nuclear Corp. to create 500MW of utility-scale solar projects. Canadian has announced a deal to supply 25.3MW of modules for four North Carolina projects.
- Also: Hanwha (HSOL +4.6%) has signed an MOU to supply up to 50MW of modules to U.S. residential solar installer OneRoof Energy.
- Other gainers: FSLR +2.7% (hit by a Goldman downgrade yesterday). SUNE +4.4%. DQ +4.9%. CSUN +3.2%. JASO +5.5%. ENPH +6.8%. ASTI +3.8%. JKS +3%.
Jan. 6, 2014, 9:46 AM
- First Solar (FSLR -6.3%) has been cut to Sell by Goldman, and SolarCity (SCTY +11.2%) has been upgraded to Conviction Buy.
- eBay (EBAY -2.7%) has been cut to Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley.
- Riverbed (RVBD -0.6%) has been cut to Hold from Strong Buy by Needham.
- JinkoSolar (JKS +7.6%) and Trina (TSL +5.9%) have been started at Buy by Jefferies
- SolarWinds (SWI +1.7%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Evercore.
- Manhattan Associates (MANH +3.2%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Raymond James.
- UMC (UMC +0.5%) has been upgraded to Overweight by UBS.
- Ingram Micro (IM +0.6%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays.
- Dupont Fabros (DFT +0.9%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Baird.
- Rambus (RMBS -3.6%) has been cut to Hold by Jefferies.
- Arris (ARRS -2.5%) has been cut to Equal Weight by Barclays.
- Geospace Technologies (GEOS -4%) has been cut to Sell by BWS Financial.
- Trimble (TRMB -2.1%) has been cut to Hold by Craig-Hallum.
- Autohome (ATHM -9.6%) has been started at Neutral by Deutsche and Piper, and at Sell by Goldman, on underwriter coverage day.
Jan. 2, 2014, 12:09 PM
- On the first trading day of 2014, solar stocks are picking up right where they left off in 2013. Today's gains come in spite of a general selloff in equities.
- A bullish Deutsche note could be helping the group: The firm's checks lead it to think cumulative Chinese solar installations will pass a 2014 government target of 12GW this year. Last month, Deutsche defended Chinese solar names in the face of concerns about a possible 4GW 2014 cap on local utility-scale installations.
- Yingli (YGE +14.2%) is headlining today's winners. The company has announced it's forming a JV with a unit of Datong Coal Mine to build solar power plants in the Chinese city of Shuozhou. Hanwha, which has announced a Belgian module supply deal, is also up sharply.
- Other big gainers: CSIQ +9.2%. FSLR +4.9%. SOL +7.3%. JASO +6.7%. JKS +6.2%. SCTY +6.1%. TSL +6.1%. LDK +4.6%. SUNE +3.1%. CSUN +7.8%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT +2.9%. TAN +4.4%.
Dec. 19, 2013, 2:44 PM
- Volatile solar stocks are making another move higher today. With less than two weeks left in the year, the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN +2.2%) is staring at a 128% YTD gain.
- Trina (TSL +4.1%) and ReneSola (SOL +3.2%) have both announced supply deals - the former is supplying 25MW of modules for a Thai solar project, and the latter is providing 365KW of modules and solar inverters for California projects.
- Notable gainers: SCTY +7.8%. FSLR +2.7%. SPWR +4.1%. YGE +4.1%. CSIQ +3.8%. SunEdison is also up, after Leon Cooperman provided a favorable mention.
Dec. 10, 2013, 11:46 AM
- A day after solar stocks sold off amid concerns about a possible 4GW cap on 2014 Chinese utility-scale solar installations, shares are bouncing with the help of a Deutsche note that calls such fears overblown, and states checks indicate the Chinese government has become "even more serious" about achieving its 35GW 2015 cumulative installation target.
- In spite of utility cap worries, Deutsche's checks suggest "the policy outlook for large [solar] projects in China has improved since mid-November," with approval times having been cut. Moreover, provinces haven't shown any sign of being issued targets or quotas related to an installation cap.
- The firm also thinks a new Chinese solar subsidy program (focused on self-consumption) that kicks in next month will offset the expiration of China's Golden Sun subsidy program, and that a more streamlined incentive process will fuel installation growth.
- Deutsche is reiterating Buys on Yingli (YGE +4.3%) and Trina (TSL +5.9%). Also up: FSLR +2.6%. HSOL +9.7%. CSIQ +5.9%. JKS +6.1%. SOL +3.7%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Dec. 9, 2013, 12:55 PM
Dec. 6, 2013, 12:25 PM
- Even as markets rally in response to a favorable NFP report, solar stocks are giving back some of this year's gains. ReneSola (SOL -10.3%), which tumbled yesterday after positing Q3 results and announcing it's shuttering a polysilicon plant, is the biggest decliner.
- Credit Suisse has cut its ReneSola PT to $3 from $5, while reiterating an Underperform. The firm notes the plant shutdown removes 40% of ReneSola's polysilicon capacity, and undermines arguments the company will benefit from rising polysilicon prices in 2014/2015. It's also worried about ReneSola's "relatively low margins" and limited downstream (solar plant) exposure.
- One positive piece of industry news: A Japanese trade group estimates Japan's solar cell/module shipments rose 25% Q/Q and 231% Y/Y in Q3 to 2.075GW. Imports accounted for 58% of shipments, and rose 30% Q/Q and 540% Y/Y.
- Rising shipments to Japan have already lifted the sales and margins of many Chinese module suppliers. First Solar (FSLR -1.9%) announced its entry into the market last month.
- Notable solar decliners: YGE -6.7%. TSL -3.5%. CSIQ -2.7%. JKS -2.6%. LDK -2.1%. JKS -2.6%. JASO -2.2%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Nov. 25, 2013, 11:54 AM
- Ten days after announcing a reseller deal with Japanese oil giant JX Nippon, along with plans to invest $100M to build local solar plants, First Solar (FSLR -3%) says it has begun constructing a 1.4MW project in the Southern Japanese city of Kitakyushu-shi. (PR)
- Though the project is modest in scope, it's noteworthy since it's the first one First Solar has announced for the fast-growing/high-margin Japanese market.
Nov. 19, 2013, 2:41 PM
- After steadily rising over the last three weeks, 3D printing stocks are reversing course in dramatic fashion today in the absence of major news. Solar stocks, which have also seen plenty of good days lately, are also selling off hard.
- 3D printer makers 3D Systems (DDD -6.1%), Stratasys (SSYS -7.5%), ExOne (XONE -7.7%), and Voxeljet (VJET -14.1%) are all off sharply, as is custom parts maker Proto Labs ([[PRLB -4.8% - sometimes hyped as a 3D printing play).
- Trina (TSL -4.9%), which provided a big Q3 beat and guidance hike this morning, has turned negative after shooting higher in premarket trading. Other solar decliners: YGE -10.9%. FSLR -4.6%. SOL -6.4%. JASO -6.4%. CSUN -5.6%. JKS 5.7%. DQ -5.5%. SUNE -5.5%. CSIQ -5.3%. SPWR -7.1%.
Nov. 15, 2013, 12:38 PM
- Leading Japanese oil refiner/seller JX Nippon has agreed to distribute high-efficiency First Solar (FSLR -0.2%) solar modules through April 2015. As part of the deal, First Solar will develop and manufacture technology it obtained through its April acquisition of TetraSun.
- Whereas First Solar has historically focused on offering thin-film solar modules for utility-scale projects - they tend to have lower efficiencies than silicon alternatives, but are also cheaper - TetraSun has developed silicon cells with very high efficiencies. That could make them well-suited for Japan, a high-margin solar market where space for residential/commercial deployments is often at a premium.
- First Solar has also announced it's investing $100M to build Japanese solar plants in partnership with local firms.
- Thanks to rapid growth (aided by generous subsidies) and high margins, the Japanese market has already been a boon to many Chinese solar firms. Solarbuzz estimates Japan's cumulative solar installations topped 10.5GW by the end of August, up ~50% just from the end of 2012.
Nov. 12, 2013, 8:59 AM
- Up strongly yesterday, ever-volatile solar stocks are giving back some of their gains in premarket trading today after Yingli (I, II) and Hanwha (I, II) provided Q3 results and full-year guidance that left investors wanting more following big 2013 run-ups.
- Notable decliners: TSL -3.9%. JKS -5.2%. JASO -3.4%. CSUN -3.3%. SCTY -1.3%. SUNE -2.5%.
- Also: Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is down 2.4% in spite of announcing a 32MW module supply deal for a Chinese solar plant, and First Solar (FSLR) is down 0.7% in spite of announcing it has obtained power purchase agreements for a 40MW California power plant it's building.
Nov. 11, 2013, 3:26 PM
- Solar stocks are bouncing back strongly today following last Thursday's SolarCity-led selloff. Though there's no major news trigger for today's gains, industry sentiment has been increasingly positive thanks to good earnings news, optimism about 2014 demand, and signs government support remains healthy.
- China has lifted its 2014 solar installation target to 12GW from 10GW, albeit while keeping its 2015 cumulative installation target intact at 35GW. Meanwhile, Solarbuzz is predicting long-struggling Europe will stabilize in 1H14, and return to growth in 2H14. Germany and the U.K. are expected to account for half of regional demand.
- JA Solar (JASO +10.1%), which has announced a new 70MW module supply deal, is among today's big winners. Others: JKS +10.5%. FSLR +4.2%. SCTY +6.7%. TSL +7.9%. ENPH +5%. YGE +6.7%. CSUN +8.8%. STRI +7.3%.
Nov. 7, 2013, 2:22 PM
- With shares up over 5x YTD going into the company's Q3 report, SolarCity (SCTY -14%) investors are taking profits in the face of a Q3 beat and above-consensus guidance.
- Credit Suisse (Outperform, $75 PT) is defending SolarCity today, while praising the company's operating leverage and incremental retained value per watt (rose 35% Q/Q in Q3 to $1.9)1.
- Goldman (Neutral, $65 PT) also talks up SolarCity's value retention, as well as its declining operational costs/watt (fell to $0.59/watt from $0.80/watt in Q2). But it also cautions expectations were high, points out "no volume upside was provided" for 2013/2014 deployment targets, and that there's "limited clarity" for SolarCity's solar lease securitization efforts.
- On its CC (transcript), SolarCity mentioned it invested $200M+ in solar deployments in Q3, and financed another $86M. The company has been raising funds for its deployment efforts at a breakneck pace.
- Many solar peers are also off sharply on a rough day for tech momentum play. Thanks to good earnings news, the group rallied sharply both on Monday and last Friday. In addition to SolarCity, China Sunergy's poor guidance could also be playing a role.
- Solar decliners: FSLR -4.2%. SPWR -6.1%. SOL -5.1%. JKS -4.8%. YGE -4.7%. JASO -6.5%. DQ -10.2%. SPWR -6.1%. LDK -5.5%. SUNE -3.8%.
Nov. 4, 2013, 12:56 PM
- Positive Q3 guidance revisions from Canadian Solar (previous) and Daqo (DQ +11.2%) are fueling another massive rally in solar stocks, some of which jumped last Friday thanks to blowout Q3 numbers from First Solar (FSLR +4.6%).
- Canadian hiked the midpoint of its Q3 module shipment guidance range by more than 10%, and the midpoint of its gross margin guidance range by 800 bps. Daqo has upped its polysilicon shipment range to 1,200-1,275 MT from a prior 1,000 MT, albeit while slightly lowering its wafer shipment guidance to 6.5-6.6 MT from prior 6.8 MT (shipping delays are blamed).
- The guidance hikes follow a string of positive Q2 reports from Chinese solar firms in August, as companies saw both their sales and margins benefit from growing local demand, diminishing overcapacity, and strong shipments to the high-margin Japanese market. Credit Suisse recently predicted improving demand could lead excess Chinese supply to evaporate by late 2014 or 2015.
- Also: Suntech (STP +13.6%) has officially reached a deal to sell its large and bankrupt Wuxi, China unit to solar cell maker Shunfeng (previous), SunPower (SPWR +10.9%) has announced it's buying module cleaning robot developer Greenbiotics, and SolarCity (SCTY +16.4%) has announced (as part of its seemingly non-stop financing binge) it's selling $54.4M in solar asset-backed notes maturing in Dec. 2026.
- Today's winners, aside from the aforementioned companies: JKS +9.8%. JASO +9.2%. RSOL +8.3%. LDK +6.5%. HSOL +5.2%. YGE +7.4%. CSUN +6%. SOL +6.9%. SUNE +3.5%. TSL +9.7%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Nov. 1, 2013, 12:47 PM
First Solar, Inc. operates as a solar energy solutions company. It engages in the designing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of photovoltaic solar power systems and solar modules with an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology. The company operates in two business segments:... More
Industry: Semiconductor - Specialized
Country: United States
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