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Mar. 24, 2015, 2:24 PM
- Buoyed this year by decent Q4 numbers, solid 2015 guidance, and YieldCo news, solar stocks are adding to their gains today even as the Nasdaq barely budges. The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN +0.7%) is up 35% YTD and nearing a 52-week high of $47.00.
- Chinese firms are adding to last week's gains - JinkoSolar (JKS +3.7%), ReneSola (SOL +3.3%), Daqo (DQ +4.8%), Trina (TSL +1.9%), JA Solar (JASO +2.7%), and China Sunergy (CSUN +12.5%) stand out. Beijing recently hiked its 2015 solar installation target by 2.8GW to 17.8GW (up from 2014's 14GW), while setting no specific targets for utility vs. distributed solar installations. The lack of utility/distributed targets is expected to make the goal easier to hit.
- U.S. names aren't getting left out: First Solar (FSLR +3.5%) and SolarCity (SCTY +2.1%) are rallying, as are microcaps RGS Energy (RGSE +6.5%) and Solar3D (SLTD +12.7%). Solar3D, a California installer, has risen 58% over the last 4 trading days.
Mar. 5, 2015, 11:13 AM
- Solar stocks are up sharply in early trading (TAN +3.9%) after Canadian Solar offered strong Q1/2015 guidance to go with more subdued Q4 results, and stated it's "planning to form a YieldCo vehicle." Vivint Solar's Q4 solar installation beat also might be helping.
- Aside from Canadian and Vivint, gainers include SunEdison (SUNE +2.1%), ReneSola (SOL +7%), Yingli (YGE +3.2%), Trina (TSL +4.7%), JinkoSolar (JKS +4.6%), Enphase (ENPH +6%), and China Sunergy (CSUN +15.7%).
- SunEdison has announced it's entering the solar/wind battery storage market by acquiring "the energy storage project origination team, project pipeline, and ... four operating storage projects" from private Solar Grid Storage. In addition to offering battery storage, SunEdison will integrate its Renewable Operation Center with Solar Grid's solar/battery control services.
- ReneSola and Trina moved higher yesterday following their Q4 reports (I, II). Many solar names rallied 9 days ago in response to First Solar and SunPower's YieldCo JV plans.
Feb. 24, 2015, 10:18 AM
- Beaten down over the last several months as oil and natural gas prices tumbled, solar stocks are rallying today (TAN +3.9%) after First Solar and SunPower announced they're in talks to form a solar project YieldCo, with plans to eventually do an IPO for it.
- The announcement comes less than a year after SunEdison (SUNE +1.5%) took its TerraForm Power (TERP +1.8%) solar project YieldCo public. Canadian Solar (CSIQ +8.1%), which has said it's looking to do a YieldCo at some point, is among today's biggest gainers (not counting First Solar/SunPower).
- Other standouts: SCTY +3.6%. JKS +6.2%. SOL +5.2%. TSL +4%. JASO +3.1%. YGE +4.3%. CSUN +4.5%. ENPH +2.4%.
Feb. 3, 2015, 10:59 AM
- Solar stocks are adding to yesterday's gains in a big way (TAN +3.6%) as oil prices (and oil/gas stocks) continue their recent rally: WTI crude is up $1.51 today to $51.08/barrel. The Nasdaq is close to breakeven.
- Also possibly helping solar firms: Canadian Solar's (CSIQ +21.2%) $265M deal to buy North American solar project developer Recurrent Energy from Sharp. The deal, which CSIQ estimates spells a $2.3B+ revenue opportunity, acts as a fresh vote of confidence for the downstream U.S. solar market in the wake of oil and natural gas' big declines.
- Notable gainers (besides CSIQ): FSLR +4%. SPWR +5.1%. JKS +8%. JASO +6.5%. SOL +7.1%. VSLR +6.3%. ASTI +7.7%. CSUN +7.7%. YGE +4.7%. HSOL +8.8%. DQ +3.4%. ENPH +5.8%. TSL +5.5%.
Feb. 2, 2015, 11:30 AM
- WTI crude oil soared above $48/barrel on Friday after ISIS attacked the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, and is holding its ground today. Oil/gas producers are rallying, and so are beaten-down solar firms (TAN +2.2%).
- Notable gainers: FSLR +6%. SCTY +9.2%. SUNE +5.5%. SPWR +4.9%. TSL +6.6%. JKS +4.8%. CSIQ +4.6%. DQ +13.2%. VSLR +4.4%. JASO +3.8%. ENPH +3.4%. HSOL +3.6%. YGE +4.3%. ASTI +3.1%. SOL +3.4%.
- RBC made a contrarian call on Friday, upgrading SunPower, JA Solar, and Trina to Outperform. A long list of U.S. and Chinese solar firms are expected to post Q4 results this month.
Jan. 26, 2015, 2:09 PM
- Though WTI crude is still below $46/barrel and the Nasdaq is only up 0.3%, beaten-down solar stocks are posting big gains (TAN +3.9%). Quite possibly helping: Pres. Obama has said the U.S. will help finance an Indian effort to install 100GW of solar capacity by 2022.
- The head of an Indian think tank estimates such an effort would cost $160B. India says it's seeking $100B worth of investments over 7 years. The country's bureaucracy/red tape has often stalled major foreign investments; the new government has repeatedly promised to change that.
- First Solar (FSLR +4.1%) and SunEdison (SUNE +4.1%) are among the companies to have struck deals for Indian solar projects. SunEdison has announced plans to invest up to $4B in an Indian solar manufacturing plant through a JV. First Solar and Trina (TSL +5.4%) are weighing plans to build their own local plants.
- Other notable gainers: SCTY +4.7%. JKS +7.5%. SOL +5.8%. SPWR +2.9%. CSIQ +4.6%. JASO +4.4%. RGSE +3.7%. ASTI +9.3%. HSOL +3.2%. DQ +3.7%.
Jan. 20, 2015, 12:40 PM
- Chinese solar plays JinkoSolar (JKS -6.7%), ReneSola (SOL -3.9%), JA Solar (JASO -3.5%), Daqo (DQ -9.3%), and Trina (previously covered) are posting sizable losses. As is Canadian Solar (CSIQ -10%), which depends heavily on its Chinese manufacturing ops.
- The decline comes as WTI crude oil falls by 3.7% to $46.89/barrel, and Henry Hub natural gas falls by 8.6% to $2.86/mmBtu. Also: The Shanghai exchange fell 7.5% on Monday following 3-month ban on new margin trading accounts, before rising 1.8% today. The Nasdaq is currently down 0.3%.
- Saudi Arabia has provided a bit of bad news, stating it's pushing back the completion date for its massive clean energy program (includes $109B worth of solar investments) by 8 years to 2040. Unlike many of its top energy customers, Saudi Arabia depends heavily on oil (suddenly much cheaper) for electricity production.
- U.S. solar stocks are also underperforming, but less dramatically. The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN -2.3%) is less than $0.30 away from its 52-week low of $31.77.
- Update: Also potentially hurting: A Chinese government study found 23% of solar panel samples taken from local firms featured glass coating defects that can affect long-term power efficiency. The defects were in products set to be used in China.
Jan. 15, 2015, 2:56 PM
- Yesterday's oil rally has proven short-lived: WTI crude is down $1.90 today to $46.58. With equities going in the same direction, solar stocks (TAN -3%) are having another rough day.
- SolarCity (SCTY -3.9%) and SunEdison (SUNE -6.9%) are also contending with target cuts from Canaccord's Josh Baribeau (to $64 and $26, respectively), who nonetheless maintains Buy ratings. "We are choosing to get slightly less aggressive on the riskier high-multiple names in the solar group as a result of growing macro uncertainty and business model changes in 2015."
- However, Baribeau "[remains] confident in SolarCity's momentum," and expects the company to generate "significant value" from its contracted assets in time. Q4 supply chain talks indicate U.S. residential solar demand remains "very strong."
- Regarding SunEdison, he's worried the company is "taking on a greater amount of execution and capital risk following announcements of potential manufacturing capacity and international joint ventures." But he still considers it "the world's leading renewable project developer, with a track record of executing."
- Fellow U.S. solar firms SunPower (SPWR -7%) and Vivint Solar (VSLR -7.6%) are also off sharply. Other industry names are seeing more modest declines, but still generally underperforming the Nasdaq.
Jan. 9, 2015, 2:37 PM
- Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett makes the case for European energy stocks, U.S. banks relative to Canadian ones, and solar.
- "Unloved European energy is trading at record valuation lows vs. U.S. energy," says Hartnett, noting a 5.5% yield provides a lot of protection against dividend cuts. U.S.-listed ETFs, however, don't include anything dedicated to European plays, so there's the Paris-listed SPDR MSCI Europe Energy UCITS ETF, which has Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Total (NYSE:TOT) among its top holdings.
- It's no surprise Canada is far more exposed to energy than the U.S., and Hartnett notes more than 40 rigs have recently been taken offline, oil sands production is winding down, and the bubbly Canadian housing market is creaking (Canadian property REITs are off 20% in the last two months). Going long the KBWR or KRE vs. a short in the Toronto-listed Capped Financial Index could be a way to play.
- Solar has been punished alongside oil prices, says Hartnett, but competes with gas rather than oil. "The secular trend toward greater solar energy generation remains intact." ETFs: TAN, KWT
Jan. 8, 2015, 1:15 PM
- Deutsche's Vishal Shah, bullish on solar for a long time, asserts the "recent volatility in solar stocks, driven largely by oil price weakness, presents an attractive entry point for investors as we expect 2015 to be a year of stable industry pricing and accelerating volume growth."
- Shah expects solar to see a "balanced supply/demand outlook as strong demand from the US and improving demand from China/other emerging solar markets offsets any potential demand weakness in the UK/Japan."
- He observes oil accounts for just ~5% of global electricity output, and sees both solar project pipelines/margins and module margins rising in 2015. Tariffs against Chinese module vendors are expected to be "completely removed."
- His top picks are SolarCity (SCTY +3.3%), SunEdison (SUNE +4.1%), SunPower (SPWR +6.1%), and Vivint (VSLR +0.3%); the first three are faring quite well today. Yingli (YGE +0.2%), however, has been downgraded to Hold due to balance sheet and financial flexibility concerns.
- Other major gainers: FSLR +3.9%. JKS +6%. ENPH +5.4%. CSIQ +3.7%. RGSE +5.2%. TERP +3.2%.
- SunEdison announced today it has bought new wind turbines that will allow it to build up to 1.6GW of wind projects that qualify for U.S. tax credits. The purchase follows the company's $2.4B deal to buy project developer First Wind.
- ETFs: TAN, KWT
Jan. 6, 2015, 2:47 PM
- The broad Monday selloff in solar names that accompanied WTI crude's plunge towards $50/barrel has been followed by major Tuesday losses (TAN -2%) as WTI falls by another $2.34 to $47.70/barrel.
- Brent crude is down by $2.44 to $50.67/barrel, and Henry Hub natural gas is up by $0.03 to $2.91/mmBtu (still down sharply over the last few months). The Nasdaq is down 1%.
- 3%+ decliners: SUNE -5.9%. SPWR -4.3%. JKS -5.8%. DQ -9.4%. VSLR -4.6%. YGE -4.4%. HSOL -4.5%. ENPH -7.6%. CSUN -8.8%. TSL -3.4%. ASTI -10.2%. CSIQ -3.9%.
- SA author Short/Long Trader sees a buying opportunity. Though admitting a "historic connection" exists between oil prices and renewable investment, the author sees little impact on rising solar demand from low oil prices going forward.
- Trina, Canadian Solar, and JA Solar (JASO -1.4%) are Short/Long's favorite picks, given their low valuations - all three have P/Es below 10 - and generally healthy fundamentals.
Jan. 5, 2015, 1:18 PM
- WTI crude is down by $2.36 to $50.33/barrel, and briefly fell below $50/barrel for the first time since '09. Brent crude is down $3.18 to $53.24/barrel. Solar stocks, no stranger to getting hit hard by crude's decline, are seeing more pain (TAN -2.1%).
- U.S. solar firms First Solar (FSLR -5.5%), SolarCity (SCTY -5.9%), SunPower (SPWR -4.6%), SunEdison (SUNE -6%), and TerraForm (TERP -4.4%) are especially hard-hit. But other names are also underperforming: CSIQ -3.6%. DQ -5.1%. CSUN -4.2%. JKS -2.8%. SOL -3.5%. The S&P is down 1.8%.
- A reminder: Oil accounts for only ~1% of U.S. electricity production, and transmission/distribution costs often have a bigger impact on electricity prices than energy input costs.
- Industry news: 1) Canadian Solar has completed selling two 10MW Ontario plants to renewable energy investment firm RET. 2) Hanwha (HSOL +0.9%) has struck a deal to supply 80MW of modules for a Chilean solar plant. 3) China Sunergy has won a 30MW solar module contract from an Indian solar park builder.
Dec. 8, 2014, 1:34 PM
- WTI crude oil has fallen 3.7% to $63.42/barrel today, after Morgan Stanley cut its 2015 oil forecast. Henry Hub natural gas is down 4.7% to $3.62/MMBtu.
- Solar stocks, already battered by crude's recent plunge, are joining oil/gas firms in selling off (TAN -2.6%). The Nasdaq is down 0.8%. FSLR -3.8%. SPWR -5.4%. SUNE -4.4%. SOL -6.8%. HSOL -5.9%. JKS -6.4%. YGE -4.3%.
- Industry news: 1) Hanwha is merging its U.S.-listed unit with its Q Cells unit. 2) Trina has bought a 28% stake in Chinese equipment leasing firm Shuntai for $50M to "expand its financing channels" for both its downstream and module ops. 3) Canada has joined the list of countries probing Chinese module vendors for anti-dumping violations.
Dec. 2, 2014, 7:03 PM
- "We believe solar fundamentals are driven mostly by government policies and natural gas prices in most major markets and see almost no impact on near term demand environment as a result of recent oil price volatility," argues Deutsche's Vishal Shah, defending solar stocks after they were clobbered on Friday and Monday in the wake of OPEC's decision not to slash production.
- Shah expects strong 2015 solar demand in the U.S., China, and India, and thinks the U.S. market is especially well-insulated from falling oil prices, given local electricity prices are unlikely to drop near-term.
- He recommends buying SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Trina (NYSE:TSL), and Vivint (NYSE:VSLR) on weakness. Shah, long a SolarCity bull, adds "improving financing costs and greater penetration in new states could continue to drive positive demand momentum" for SolarCity and Vivint.
- ETFs: KWT, TAN
Nov. 28, 2014, 10:55 AM
- Solar stocks are getting hit hard (TAN -5.1%) after OPEC opted against cutting oil production, leading crude prices to plunge below $70/barrel and sparking huge selloffs in energy/commodity stocks. Fuel cell stocks aren't faring much better.
- Solar decliners: FSLR -6.8%. SPWR -6%. SUNE -5.7%. SCTY -2.9%. CSIQ -10.7%. SOL -9.1%. YGE -7.3%. DQ -7.2%. ENPH -6.8%. TSL -6.9%. JASO -7.5%. RGSE -3.9%. JKS -6.9%. CSUN -3.5%. VSLR -3.7%. HSOL -3.8%.
- Fuel cell decliners: BLDP -6.1%. FCEL -4.5%. PLUG -2.3%. HYGS -5.3%.
Nov. 18, 2014, 11:36 AM
- Under pressure for much of last week, solar stocks are rallying (TAN +4.3%) after SunEdison (SUNE +23.5%) and its TerraForm Power (TERP +29.1%) YieldCo announced they're buying leading wind project developer First Wind for up to $2.4B, and JA Solar (JASO +4%) beat Q3 estimates and upped its full-year cell/module shipment guidance to 3.1GW-3.2GW from 2.9GW-3.1GW.
- Gainers: SCTY +3.9%. SOL +4.5%. TSL +3.7%. YGE +2.7%. JKS +3.4%. HSOL +2.8%. ASTI +6%. DQ +3.2%. RGSE +2.6%.
- SunEdison CEO Ahmad Chatila declares the First Wind deal will double his company's addressable market. Cowen thinks SunEdison "can leverage First Wind’s platform to push into international markets for wind given the potential expiration of the production tax credit for U.S. wind projects."
- Along with its results/guidance, JA announced a $90M buyback; it's good for repurchasing 23% of shares at current levels, if fully used. JA's Q3 gross margin was 15%, -20 bps Q/Q but +370 bps Y/Y. Cell/module shipments rose 15.2% Q/Q and 57% Y/Y to 500.2MW.
Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors Global Solar Energy Index (the “Index”).
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