Nov. 25, 2013, 5:30 PM
Nov. 21, 2013, 4:55 PM
- LDK Solar (LDK) has secured an RMB1.56B ($256M) credit facility (good through Nov. 2016) from a syndicate of 11 Chinese commercial banks. (PR)
- The funds can only be used finance LDK's operations in China's Jiangxi Province, and can't be "used to service any existing indebtedness, whether onshore or offshore." LDK states each drawdown will be made "in the absolute discretion of the syndicate and will be subject to additional conditions," such as early repayment.
- LDK, whose debt/cash flow woes have led it to miss out on this year's huge solar stock rally, ended Q2 holding just $85.1M in cash, and over $2.6B in debt. Q3 results are due on Nov. 26.
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
Oct. 28, 2013, 12:38 PM
- Debt-laden LDK Solar (LDK -6.9%) has reached a new 30-day forbearance agreement with owners of a majority of its 10% 2014 senior notes. The agreement is related to unpaid interest that was due on Aug. 28. (PR)
- LDK says it wants to "find a consensual solution to its obligations under the Notes as soon as possible." The company had $2.65B in debt on its balance sheet at the end of Q2, and just $285M in cash and bank deposits.
- LDK is selling off in tandem with other solar names today. Thanks in large part to debt/liquidity concerns, the company has missed out on this year's mammoth solar rally.
- Previous: LDK hires Jefferies to advise on offshore debt
Oct. 9, 2013, 1:21 PM
- A day after Internet stocks with big 2013 gains tumbled as part of a general rout in risk assets, solar stocks are largely doing the same (TAN -3.2%).
- Notable decliners include JA Solar (JASO -6.5%), JinkoSolar (JKS -5.6%), First Solar (FSLR -2%), SunPower (SPWR -2.2%), ReneSola (SOL -3.7%), Yingli (YGE -3.9%), Trina (TSL -2.2%), SunEdison (SUNE -0.4%), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ -4.6%).
- SolarCity (SCTY -4.7%) is following peers lower on a day when it announced the $158M acquisition of mounting systems supplier Zep Solar. Shares outperformed yesterday following the singing of a California solar bill.
- Suntech (STP -3.5%) has given up the premarket gains it saw on news two Chinese solar cell makers have made bids for the company.
- Debt-laden LDK (LDK +4.6%), which has missed out on this year's big solar rally, is bucking the trend.
Sep. 30, 2013, 12:50 PM
Sep. 30, 2013, 11:44 AM
- The Chinese government, which has already set a 35GW 2015 solar installation target, is now offering local solar manufacturers a 50% value-added tax (VAT) rebate for sales taking place from Oct. 2013-Dec. 2015.
- Chinese solar plays are responding well to the news. STP +15.6%. CSUN +23.5%. LDK +13.4%. SOL +5.4%. DQ +4.5%. JASO +3.9%. TSL +4.1%. YGE +3%.
- Also: JinkoSolar (JKS +3.6%) has announced a deal to supply 20MW of modules to the State Grid Corporation (China's biggest electric utility) for a 60MW demonstration project. Deliveries will take place in Q4.
- Last week's gains: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Sep. 17, 2013, 2:51 PM
- In an official statement (translation), China's industry/IT ministry says it will ban solar manufacturing projects that "purely" expand capacity. However, the ministry is also mandating a solar company's annual spending on R&D and equipment upgrades combined must exceed 3% of revenue and RMB10M ($1.6M).
- Analysts thinks the mandate is a not-so-subtle way of urging companies to merge.
- As solar equipment suppliers such as GT Advanced (GTAT +2.7%) and Veeco (VECO -2.1%) can vouch, solar manufacturers (Chinese or otherwise) aren't investing much anyway, as they try to soak up the huge amounts of excess capacity created in past years.
- The revenue and gross margin figures provided in the Q2 reports of many solar names (not to mention the YTD performance of their shares) suggest decent progress is being made. Enough so that some think manufacturers will be compelled to add capacity next year.
- Most Chinese module vendors are trading lower, but not all of them: YGE -4.4%. STP -3.2%. JASO -2.2%. TSL -0.8%. LDK -0.6%. SOL +0.9%. CSIQ +1%. Polysilicon maker Daqo (DQ +9.9%) is up strongly.
Sep. 13, 2013, 9:29 AM
- LDK Solar (LDK) +2.6% premarket after saying it is engaging Jefferies as financial advisor for strategic advice in connection with its offshore debt obligations.
Sep. 12, 2013, 8:16 AM
- Solar panel installations in the U.S. jumped 15% to 832 MW during Q2 as booming business for utility-scale systems helped offset weaker demand for residential and commercial projects, according to a report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- The utility-scale solar market soared 42% Q/Q, but the report says utilities in California and other key states have slowed their procurement of power from new solar projects.
- The average installed price of solar systems fell to $3.05/watt from $3.36 in Q1 and $3.43 a year ago, but prices vary greatly state to state and project to project.
- ETFs: TAN +6.6% premarket; KWT.
- Related tickers: JASO, FSLR, JKS, TSL, SOL, STP, LDK, SPWR, CSIQ, YGE, CSUN, SCTY, RSOL, SUNE, HSOL.
Sep. 9, 2013, 1:20 PM
- With the Shanghai Composite having risen 3.4% overnight in response to news Chinese exports rose 7.2% Y/Y in August (up from 5.1% in July and easily topping expectations), it's not surprising many volatile Chinese Internet and solar names are adding to their large 2013 gains today.
- AutoNavi (AMAP +18.5%) is easily the biggest Chinese Internet standout. Other winners include YY (YY +8.2%), NQ Mobile (NQ +4.9%) and e-commerce plays Dangdang (DANG +9.5%), LightInTheBox (LITB +3.1%), and Vipshop (VIPS +3.5%).
- Solar standouts include Trina (TSL +4.9%), Daqo (DQ +12.5%), JA Solar (JASO +6.2%), JinkoSolar (JKS +3.9%), Yingli (YGE +3.8%), LDK (LDK +3.2%), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ +2.5%).
- Chinese mobile chipmaker RDA Microelectronics (RDA +10.6%) is also having a very good day.
Sep. 4, 2013, 12:26 PM
- Recapping the solar industry's Q2 performance, JPMorgan says it's pleased with strong Chinese and Japanese demand, bottom-line improvements driven by cost cuts and stabilizing pricing, and a growing focus by solar companies on projects rather than module sales.
- The firm observes Japanese solar deployments are expected to soar to 6.9GW-9.4GW in 2013 from 1.8GW in 2012 (per Sharp), and that China wants to have 35GW of installed capacity by 2015. It also likes the margin improvements many solar firms delivered in Q2 (I, II, III).
- Winners include JA Solar (JASO +13.6%), Yingli (YGE +10.2%), Hanwha SolarOne (HSOL +13.7%), Daqo (DQ +8.7%), LDK Solar (LDK +7.4%), China Sunergy (CSUN +5.3%), Canadian Solar (CSIQ +2.6%), and Trina (TSL +4.3%). Many of these names have already soared from last fall's lows.
Aug. 27, 2013, 12:45 PM
Aug. 27, 2013, 11:06 AM
- Citing insufficient cash, LDK (LDK -8%) says it will delay a semi-annual debt coupon payment due tomorrow.
- LDK's cash/bank deposit balance fell to $285.4M at the end of Q2 from $342.5M at the end of Q1. Meanwhile, its debt balance was north of $2.65B at the end of Q2.
- Raymond James' Pavel Molchanov: "LDK's balance sheet makes it a 'zombie company.' It only survives due to continued bailouts from local or provincial authorities." The Suntech saga suggests Chinese authorities aren't as quick to embrace solar bailouts as they once were.
- While many Chinese solar names are now reporting fairly healthy gross margins, LDK's remain bleak. Q2 GM was -46.9% vs. -57% in Q1 and -39.1% a year earlier.
- LDK's balance sheet and cash issues are a big reason it has largely missed out on this year's giant solar stock rally. Nonetheless, the company and its peers are heading in the same direction (TAN -4.3%) today. YGE -6.9%. CSIQ -5.8%. SPWR -4.9%. CSUN -4.5%. SCTY -4.3%. TSL -4.2%. SUNE -5.7%. FSLR -3.2%.
- JA Solar (JASO -4.8%) is also among the decliners, even though it has announced a deal to develop 300MW worth of Chinese solar plants.
- LDK's Q2 results: I, II
Aug. 27, 2013, 9:08 AM
LDK Solar Company, Ltd. is a vertically integrated manufacturer of PV products for polysilicon, wafers, cells, modules, systems, power projects and solutions.
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