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Aug. 19, 2014, 10:20 AM
- "Based on our checks, we estimate the probability of [trade settlement] success is now ~30-40% vs. prior expectations of 5-10%," writes Roth. "The narrative for Chinese solar stocks, in our view, has shifted to a more positive tone."
- Roth's remarks follow a letter from a law firm representing the Chinese government to the U.S. Commerce Department proposing talks for a solar tariff suspension agreement. Last week, Beijing retaliated against U.S. solar module tariffs by closing a loophole for U.S. and Korean polysilicon imports.
- Though admitting many Chinese suspension offers have been rejected over the years, Roth thinks "the Chinese government would not have made an offer without believing it would have a decent probability of success as it does not want to be rejected by the US government publicly."
- Notable gainers: YGE +3.9%. TSL +3.9%. JASO +3.3%. SOL +3.9% CSUN +6%. HSOL +4.3%.
- Solar ETFs: TAN, KWT
Aug. 5, 2014, 11:57 AM
- Bloomberg reports China's National Energy Administration (NEA) might soon announce policies calling on local planners to support more distributed solar projects - specifically, projects in industrial zones, and for companies with buildings sporting large rooftops.
- Among others things, local governments will be encouraged to offer more distributed solar subsidies, and to promote installations on public infrastructure. Financial firms will be urged to offer discounted loans, and to create solar investment funds.
- China is aiming for 8GW of 2014 distributed solar installations (to go with 6GW of utility-scale installations), but there have been doubts the target will be hit following a slow start to the year. Deutsche argued in May 2GW could be a more realistic distributed target.
- Chinese solar names are up strongly. U.S. giant First Solar reports after the bell. TSL +8.4%. CSUN +7.6%. JKS +8.3%. SOL +6.7%. CSIQ +6.3%. JASO +5.7%. HSOL +4.8%. YGE +4.8%. DQ +4.1%. YGE +4.8%.
- Solar ETFs: TAN, KWT
Aug. 1, 2014, 12:26 PM
- Solar stocks are underperforming (TAN -4%) amid a market selloff after SunPower (SPWR -8.5%) posted mixed Q2 results and provided Q3/2014 guidance ranges with midpoints below consensus.
- SunPower also announced it's building a new plant (Fab 5) that could go live in 2017 and eventually produce 700MW+/year of modules, boosting its capacity by over 50%. "Our share has been in single digits for a while and demand for the last 24 months suggests that we can expand share," says CEO Tom Werner.
- The announcement comes 6 weeks after SolarCity (SCTY -3.5%) unveiled plans to build a 1GW+ module plant with newly-acquired Silevo's help, and said it will later build "one or more significantly larger plants at an order of magnitude greater annual production capacity."
- Minimal capacity investments, together with rising U.S./Asian demand, have helped module prices stabilize following gut-wrenching declines in prior years.
- Also: SunPower stated on its CC (transcript) it hasn't decided whether to create a solar project YieldCo similar to SunEdison's (SUNE -4.3%) TerraForm Power (TERP -4.7%), which recently turned in a strong IPO. "It does not look like the company is likely to make a decision anytime soon," says Raymond James.
- Nonetheless, Brean has upgraded SunPower to Buy, citing optimism about strong demand and healthy pricing.
- Other notable decliners: FSLR -3.6%. TSL -8.4%. JKS -6%. CSIQ -5.6%. CSUN -5.7%. YGE -5%. SOL -4.5%. ENPH -5.8%. RGSE -4.5%. HSOL -3.9%. JASO -4.4%.
Jul. 28, 2014, 7:59 AM
- Solar names are under pressure following the U.S. government's move to place anti-dumping duties as high as 165% percent on solar panels and cells from China.
- China condemns the action, saying "if escalating problems in the China-U.S. solar industry are ignored, in the end it will damage up and downstream industries in both countries."
- Moving sharply lower premarket: YGE -5.1%, CSIQ -4.3%, JKS -3.8%, TSL -2.7%, JASO -2.5%, SCTY -2.2%, HSOL -4.9%
- Moving up: SPWR +1.8%, FSLR +2.7%.
- ETFs: TAN, KWT
Jul. 27, 2014, 10:18 PM
- The Commerce Department has imposed preliminary anti-dumping tariffs ranging from 26%-165% on Chinese and Taiwanese solar cell/module imports. The tariffs come on top of the anti-subsidy tariffs imposed in early June, and in spite of a WTO ruling declaring U.S. solar tariffs violate global trade rules.
- Among the affected exporters,Trina (NYSE:TSL) is getting off the lightest: Between the June and July tariffs, it's dealing with a combined rate of 29.3%.
- Yingli (NYSE:YGE), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), and Hanwha (NASDAQ:HSOL) are set to pay a combined rate of 47.27%, and Suntech (NYSE:STP) a combined rate of 49.24%. ReneSola (NYSE:SOL) and JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS) have to pay a 58.87% anti-dumping rate.
- Chinese module makers can pay 2012 tariff rates instead if they use Chinese (rather than Taiwanese) cells. Those rates are generally a little milder, often ranging from 24%-31%.
- "The tariffs in this case are so high as to prohibit basically any manufacturer from selling at a competitive price in to the U.S," says GTM Research's Shayle Kann. A final DOC ruling on the tariffs is expected around Dec. 15, and an ITC ruling on Jan. 29. (the full ruling - .pdf)
- U.S. rivals First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) stand to benefit. Their shares rose following the June tariff announcement.
- Other Chinese solar firms: JASO, CSUN, LDK
Jun. 17, 2014, 12:55 PM
- SolarCity has announced plans to build a 1GW+ module plant in NY, and to follow it up with one or more much larger facilities. Notably, the company declares (in spite of a current capacity glut) it needs to build the plants to meet long-term solar demand.
- Yingli missed Q1 estimates, but reported a healthy gross margin (thanks in part to strong Japanese sales) and reiterated full-year guidance.
- Also: Goldman is out with a bullish note, predicting rooftop solar installations will post a 40% CAGR through 2016.
- Gainers: FSLR +2.8%. SPWR +4.2%. SUNE +4.4%. JASO +8.2%. SOL +7.5%. JKS +6.5%. CSIQ +7.4%. DQ +4.2%. ASTI +3.9%. HSOL +6.9%. TSL +5.6%. ENPH +3.5%. CSUN +3.7%. RGSE +11.3% (announced a new Hawaiian deal).
- SolarCity's plans are a positive for equipment vendors GT Advanced (GTAT +1.5%) and Veeco (VECO +1.6%), each of which has seen its solar orders plummet thanks to the capacity glut.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
- Yesterday: Solar stocks rally; Deutsche upbeat on YieldCo potential
Jun. 4, 2014, 9:30 AM
- The Department of Commerce has imposed new preliminary tariffs on Chinese solar module imports, covering both modules featuring Chinese and non-Chinese cells. Trina (NYSE:TSL) is seeing an 18.56% tariff, bankrupt Suntech (NYSE:STP) a 35.21% tariff, and most other firms a 26.89% tariff.
- The move follows a complaint from Germany's SolarWorld that Chinese firms are using a loophole involving imported cells to sidestep the DOCs 2012 tariffs. A separate anti-dumping decision is due on July 25.
- Morgan Stanley notes many were expecting either a lower tariff (perhaps around 15%) or a settlement similar to the EU/China deal. Not surprisingly, the Chinese government says it's "strongly dissatisfied" with the DOC's action, and warns it could hurt trade ties.
- Chinese solar exporters are off: TSL -6.2%. YGE -5.8%. CSIQ -5.1%. JKS -8.8%. JASO -4.4%. CSUN -3.3%.
- U.S. peers First Solar (FSLR +2.5%) and SunPower (SPWR +5.5%) are higher. But SolarCity (SCTY -2.8%) and SunEdison (SUNE -3.5%) are off, as investors fear higher panel costs for solar projects. Also: SunEdison has announced a new $500M convertible debt offering. $350M-$400M of the proceeds will go to its TerraForm Power (Pending:TERP) spinoff.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
May 21, 2014, 11:36 AM
- Though Trina's Q1 module shipments were only in-line with the company's revised guidance, it's expecting Q2 shipments will rise 70%-81% Q/Q.
- Volatile solar stocks are responding well (TAN +3.8%) to Trina's outlook, which follows a more subdued Q2 growth forecast from Canadian Solar (CSIQ +3.6%) last Friday, and comes amid general concerns about Chinese growth.
- Notable gainers (besides Trina): CSUN +14.1%. SOL +8.7%. JKS +6.6%. YGE +5.9%. DQ +5.7%. JASO +4.9%. ASTI +6.8%. ENPH +3.9%. SUNE +2.7%.
- NPD Solarbuzz recently noted the world's top-20 module suppliers are collectively forecasting 30%+ 2014 shipment growth. The firm added the outlooks imply 2014 end-market demand will be near 50GW.
May 8, 2014, 9:16 AM
May 8, 2014, 8:13 AM
- JA Solar's (JASO) Q1 cell/module shipments totaled 638.1MW, -4.1% Q/Q and +44.1% Y/Y, and soundly above guidance of 580MW-610MW. Shipments are expected to grow to 670MW-700MW in Q2.
- For now, full-year guidance of 2.7GW-2.9GW (200MW for JA's downstream projects) is being reiterated.
- Gross margin rose to 16.7% in Q1 from 15.5% in Q4 and 6% a year ago. Opex rose 18% Y/Y, less than rev. growth of 35.7%.
- While cell shipments fell 17.2% Q/Q to 250MW, module shipments rose 6.8% to 388MW.
- Thanks to surging Japanese demand, Asia-Pac markets other than China made up 52.8% of Q1 shipments. Europe (14.8% of shipments) was also a geographic strong point. China only accounted for 26% of Q1 shipments (seasonality), and the U.S. 4.1%.
- Q1 results, PR
May 8, 2014, 7:14 AM
- JA Solar (JASO): Q1 EPS of $0.32 beats by $0.26.
- Revenue of $366M (+35.5% Y/Y) beats by $35.46M.
May 7, 2014, 5:30 PM
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Apr. 28, 2014, 2:15 PM
- The latest rout in once-high-flying tech momentum plays isn't leaving solar stocks unscathed. The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN -6.2%) is now down 21% from its March 7 high of $51.07.
- Likely adding fuel to the fire: Credit Suisse has slashed its 2014 Chinese solar installation forecast by 500MW to 11.5GW, soundly below the government's 14GW target (set in February). CS thinks policy changes related to utility-scale projects, feed-in tariff reimbursement, and distributed solar incentives are needed for investment to pick up.
- The firm adds JinkoSolar (JKS -10.8%), Trina (TSL -12.2%), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ -12.8%) are well-positioned to profit from downstream projects, given they have access to financing from the China Development Bank and other sources. On the other hand, it thinks Yingli (YGE -4.1%) and ReneSola (SOL -8.8%) are "less likely to access project capital due to their strained balance sheets." Yingli recently priced a stock offering expected to yield $83M in net proceeds.
- Other decliners: FSLR -5.3%. SCTY -7.1%. SUNE -6.8%. CSUN -9.8%. JASO -9.4%. DQ -9.3%. HSOL -5.9%. SPWR -5.1%.
Apr. 22, 2014, 3:56 PM
- Solar stocks are among the biggest winners (TAN +5.2%) on a good day for momentum stocks.
- SunEdison (SUNE +11.6%) is leading the pack after David Einhorn disclosed he has added to the position he started in Q4, and predicted lower solar costs and rising electricity prices should make the company a "winner." Einhorn is less crazy about tech momentum plays in general.
- Meanwhile, Canadian Solar is benefiting from a Japanese module deal, and SunPower (SPWR +6.5%) and SolarCity (SCTY +6.4%) are getting a lift from a Goldman note calling the companies its two best solar ideas. SunPower reports on Thursday.
- Other notable gainers: YGE +7.9%. DQ +9.2%. JKS +7.4%. SOL +6.8%. HSOL +6.7%. ENPH +6.2%. JASO +4.5%.
Apr. 16, 2014, 9:43 AM
- The U.S. Energy Department plans to offer up to $4B in loan guarantees to renewable energy projects, focusing on advanced electric grid technology and storage, biofuels that can be used in conventional vehicles, energy from waste products and energy efficiency improvements.
- Despite the high-profile collapse of Solyndra, the Obama administration believes most of its energy investments have done well, and it credits the program with strengthening the U.S. solar industry.
- Solar stocks: TAN, JASO, SPWR, TSL, FSLR, LDK, CSIQ, YGE, SOL, JKS, CSUN, SCTY, HSOL, EMKR, SUNE, DQ.
- Battery related names: PLUG, BLDP, CBAK, ZBB, ABAT, ULBI, ENS, HPJ.
- EV cars: TSLA.
Apr. 14, 2014, 11:57 AM
- JA Solar (JASO +7.4%) now expects Q1 solar cell/module shipments to top 620MW, putting them above prior guidance of 580MW-610MW. In addition, gross margin is expected to rise from a Q4 level of 15.5% (already up 420 bps Q/Q).
- Full-year cell/module guidance (2.7GW-2.9GW, of which 200MW is expected to involve JA's downstream projects) is being reiterated.
- JA's Q1 guidance hike comes in spite of recent warnings from Yingli and Trina.
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