Tue, Mar. 24, 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.
Tue, Mar. 17, 11:02 AM
- Chinese solars, many of which remain sharply below their 52-week highs, are among the standouts on a morning in which the Nasdaq is off 0.2%.
- JinkoSolar (JKS +2.8%), which was down premarket following news of a fire at one of its plants, is among the gainers. As are JA Solar (JASO +3.3%), Daqo (DQ +5.3%), Yingli (YGE +7.1%), ReneSola (SOL +6.9%), Trina (TSL +5.6%), and China Sunergy (CSUN +2.1%). Canadian Solar (CSIQ +3.1%), which has extensive Chinese manufacturing ops, is also rallying.
- The gains come as WTI crude oil continues trading near $43/barrel. The Q4 results and full-year guidance provided by solar firms in February and March suggest oil (responsible for only a small % of global electricity output) isn't having a big near-term impact on solar investments.
Thu, Mar. 12, 11:07 AM
- JA Solar (JASO +1.6%) shipped 952.7MW of solar cells and modules in Q4, +21.3% Q/Q and +43.2% Y/Y, and above guidance of 850MW-900MW.
- Shipments are expected to fall to 650MW-750MW in seasonally weak Q1, but are forecast to grow to 3.6GW-4GW in 2015 from 2014's 3.1GW. 200MW-300MW of the 2015 shipments are expected to go towards downstream projects.
- Gross margin rose 50 bps Q/Q and was flat Y/Y at 15.5%. Hurting EPS: operating expenses rose to 9.3% of revenue from 8.8% in Q3, albeit while falling from the year-ago period's 12.8%.
- Module shipments rose 142% Y/Y, while cell shipments fell 76%. China accounted for 41% of shipments, other parts of Asia-Pac 37.3%, Europe 12.8%, and the Americas 4.4%. JA says it's "enthusiastic about expanding sales into new, underpenetrated geographies such as North America, South America, and India."
- JA ended 2014 with $347.3M in cash, $352.6M in working capital, $366.7M in short-term borrowings, and $310.2M in long-term borrowings.
- Shares opened sharply higher, but have since pared their gains.
- Q4 results, PR
Thu, Mar. 12, 9:14 AM
Thu, Mar. 12, 7:12 AM| 3 Comments
Wed, Mar. 11, 5:30 PM
Tue, Feb. 24, 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%.
Tue, Feb. 3, 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%.
Mon, Feb. 2, 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.
Fri, Jan. 30, 9:21 AM
- SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), JA Solar (NASDAQ:JASO), and Trina (NYSE:TSL) have each received upgrades to Outperform from RBC in the wake of the huge solar rout seen over the last few months. The firm's cites optimism about solar growth and SunPower's plans to build a 700MW+ module plant.
- SPWR +1.3% in spite of lower Nasdaq futures. JASO +2.5%. TSL +0.8%. SunPower reports on Feb. 24.
Mon, Jan. 26, 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%.
Tue, Jan. 20, 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.
Tue, Jan. 6, 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.
Dec. 31, 2014, 1:43 PM
- Given recent government comments about supporting M&A (along with various policy incentives) to strengthen the Chinese solar industry, Brean thinks smaller firms could be snapped up, thereby providing a stronger supply/demand and pricing environment for bigger names.
- Trina (TSL +7.9%), JA Solar (JASO +3%), Yingli (YGE +1.8%), JinkoSolar (JKS +4%), and Daqo (DQ +4.7%) are higher on a quiet New Year's Eve trading day. Trina might also be getting a lift from announcing it has set a new record (324.4Wp) for "power output from a high efficiency multi-crystalline silicon PV module." The accomplishment follows the development of a solar cell with 20.76% efficiency.
- This year has seen debt-laden LDK Solar (OTCPK:LDKYQ) strike a restructuring deal and get moved to the pink sheets; shares are currently at $0.08. Last year, Suntech's Wuxi, China unit filed for bankruptcy and was later sold to solar cell maker Shunfeng Photovoltaic.
- Last week: Chinese solar firms reportedly looking to build overseas plants
Dec. 26, 2014, 5:16 PM
- Taiwanese solar industry sources tell Digitimes leading Chinese solar module vendors "have plans to set up overseas production lines to avoid US antitrust taxation."
- Believing a large gap exists between U.S. solar demand and what U.S. and European module makers can supply - trade group SEIA forecasts U.S. installations will rise from 6.5GW in 2014 to 8.5GW in 2015 and nearly 12GW in 2016 - some Chinese firms reportedly "plan to set up overseas module and cell production lines with an estimated total annual capacity of 2GWp."
- The report comes after the DOC made final decisions to impose new tariffs on Chinese module makers, and thereby close a loophole that allowed the companies to avoid 2012 tariffs (still in place) by using non-Chinese cells. The ITC is expected to rule on the DOC's move by Jan. 20.
- Chinese module vendors: TSL, YGE, SOL, JKS, HSOL, JASO
Dec. 17, 2014, 4:37 AM
- The Commerce Department is hiking import duties on solar energy equipment from China and Taiwan, closing a loophole that had allowed Chinese manufacturers to avoid tariffs and sell at illegally low prices in the U.S.
- Steep anti-dumping duties will now placed on imports of most solar panels made in China and solar cells from Taiwan, likely raising the cost of solar energy at a time of falling oil prices.
- Related tickers: FSLR, SPWR, SUNE, SCTY, CSIQ, SOL, YGE, DQ, ENPH, TSL, JASO, RGSE, JKS, CSUN, VSLR, HSOL , STP, OTC:MIDIL
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