Mar. 7, 2014, 9:40 AM
- GT Advanced (GTAT +4.8%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Credit Suisse, and is making new 52-week highs. Goldman started shares at Buy on Tuesday.
- JA Solar (JASO +2.6%) has been started at Buy by Sidoti. The company was one of several Chinese solar names to post big gains yesterday.
- Polycom (PLCM +3.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by Citi.
- AppliedMicro (AMCC +1.1%) has been started at Buy by Roth.
- Quality Systems (QSII +3.6%) has been upgraded to Market Perform by FBR.
- Imagination (IGNMF) has been cut to Sell by Canaccord. Shares are down 1.7% in London.
Mar. 4, 2014, 1:34 PM
- With the help of positive earnings news from Trina and Yingli, volatile solar stocks are among the standouts (TAN +6%) on a very good day for equities.
- Trina posted mixed Q4 results, but also issued a strong 2014 module shipment forecast. Yingli has pre-announced its Q4 module shipments will be soundly above prior guidance.
- Notable gainers: SPWR +8.6%. JASO +8%. CSUN +6.6%. CSIQ +7.3%. STRI +10.1%. DQ +8.4%. SOL +6%.
- SunEdison (SUNE +10.5%) is taking off with the help of a Morgan Stanley upgrade. Analyst Timothy Radcliff thinks the commercial-scale solar market could grow to 129GW by 2018, with a rush of activity prior to a 2017 federal tax credit cut. He also thinks SunEdison's solar project yieldco spinoff could sport a $1.6B valuation within 12-18 months, and notes such instruments "trade at premium valuations given [their] predictable and growing cash flows."
- JinkoSolar (JKS +14.8%) is more than recouping yesterday's post-earnings losses with the help of positive commentary. Roth (Buy) notes Jinko's 2014 module guidance of 2.3GW-2.5GW beat the firm's 2.1GW estimate, and thinks Jinko is the first Chinese company to see its non-silicon processing costs drop below $0.40/watt.
Feb. 26, 2014, 12:14 PM
- With 17 of the 20 analysts covering First Solar (FSLR -11.5%) holding neutral or bearish stances going into the company's Q4 report, little sympathy is being shown in response to a big Q4 miss and soft Q1 guidance.
- Goldman (Sell, PT lowered to $42 from $45) continues to see a "lack of upside in First Solar's utility-scale model." The firm points to checks showing a "challenging U.S. growth outlook for large-scale utility projects," mixed performance in emerging markets, and the lack of a near-term yieldco spinoff/IPO for First Solar's solar projects (SunEdison recently filed for one).
- Goldman also thinks First Solar's ability to hit a 1:1 book-to-bill at the end of 2013 was accompanied by a mix shift towards lower-margin module orders.
- Morgan Stanley is pleased with First Solar's cost-cutting moves, but also thinks investors are counting on "a large degree of profitable international growth," which it considers "highly uncertain." Cowen expects gross margin to be down 450 bps Q/Q, but also notes Q1 guidance "may not be indicative of full-year results."
- In spite of First Solar, peers are turning in a strong day (TAN +4.1%). The Street's positive response to SunEdison's Capital Markets Day could be helping.
- Notable gainers: SCTY +6.6%. CSIQ +8.4%. DQ +6.9%. JKS +4.2%. JASO +3.5%. ENPH +4.1%.
Feb. 18, 2014, 4:03 PM
- On a good day for many tech momentum plays, solar and Chinese Internet stocks led the way.
- Solar names could be benefiting from Chinese government remarks suggesting Beijing remains open to trade talks to end its ongoing solar import dispute with the U.S. The comments come after the ITC added Chinese solar panels made with Taiwanese cells to its list of Chinese panels covered by import duties.
- Also: SunEdison (SUNE +6.6%) has filed for an IPO for its solar project business, a move that could entice other companies with major solar project ops to do the same.
- Solar gainers: FSLR +6.9%. SCTY +8%. JASO +12.6%. DQ +9.2%. CSUN +8.1%. YGE +5.5%. JKS +5.3%.
- Chinese Web gainers: CTRP +11.5%. CCIH +16.8%. RENN +11%. YOKU +6.1%. QIHU +6.9%. WUBA +10.6%. WBAI +7.9%. GOMO +9.1%. SOHU +5.6%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Jan. 23, 2014, 9:59 AM
- SEC administrative law judge Cameron Elliot has barred the Chinese units of the Big-4 accounting firms - KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, and Ernst & Young - from auditing U.S.-listed companies for six months.
- Elliot declares the accounting firms "willfully" chose to withhold audit work papers from U.S. regulators for Chinese companies being investigated for accounted fraud. The firms have been worried about violating Chinese privacy laws by turning over the papers, and have argued the dispute needs to be resolved politically.
- Though the firms plan to appeal and say they can continue serving Chinese clients for now, shares of Chinese Web and solar names aren't handling the news well. Soft Chinese PMI data could be worsening matters.
- Chinese Web decliners: BIDU -2.5%. SOHU -3.2%. DANG -8.9%. SFUN -8.5%. PWRD -8.5%. QUNR -7.1%. LITB -6.5%. YY -6.1%. WUBA -6%. BITA -5.4%. EJ -5.9%. SINA -4.6%. LITB -6.5%. CTRP -5.4%. NQ -7.1%.
- Chinese solar decliners: TSL -8.7%. JASO -6.9%. SOL -6.3%. JKS -5.6%. CSIQ -5.4%. DQ -4.6%. YGE -5.6%. CSUN -6.2%. HSOL -7.8%.
- Qihoo (QIHU -4.6%) has joined the selloff in spite of a BrightWire report stating Alibaba (ABABA) has reached a deal to acquire a stake in the company. Marbridge Consulting reported two weeks ago Qihoo and Alibaba were in talks about a possible investment.
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. 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. 30, 2013, 12:56 PM
- Solar stocks aren't getting left out on a day that's seeing a number of heavily-shorted names shoot higher (see NQ Mobile and InvenSense). With one trading day left in the year, the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN +2.5%) is up 128% YTD.
- China Sunergy (CSUN +15.5%) is today's biggest winner: The company announced this morning it has completed the sale of a 5MW U.K. solar project to a local firm.
- Trina Solar and Real Goods Solar, each of which announced new solar project deals, are also posting solid gains. As is ReneSola (SOL +3%), which announced it has signed a memorandum of intent to sell 60MW worth of Chinese solar projects.
- Also rallying: DQ +8.2%. JASO +6.5%. SPWR +2.8%. HSOL +6.3%. CSIQ +4.6%. JKS +4%. YGE +6.3%. STP +2.3%. ENPH +4.9%.
Dec. 11, 2013, 1:28 PM
- JA Solar (JASO -3.9%) COO Jian Xie is set to "assume broader leadership" within the company, and become its president. CTO Yong Liu will take over Xie's current job. (PR)
- In addition, CFO Min Cao is being reassigned to the role of chief strategy officer. Replacing him is Herman Zhao, who was JA's CFO from 2006-2008 and has since been the CFO of two other companies.
Dec. 9, 2013, 2:50 PM
- The Chinese government, which has a 12GW 2014 solar installation target, wants to see 8GW of installations involve distributed solar systems (such as those installed on residential and commercial buildings), and just 4GW of higher-margin utility-scale deployments.
- Credit Suisse notes investors are concerned the 12GW target won't be attainable if utility-scale installations are capped at 4GW. It thinks Yingli (YGE -5.9%), Trina (TSL -7%), and JinkoSolar (JKS -5.3%) have the most to lose if such a cap is implemented.
- Nomura is less concerned, noting most companies it has talked to believe 4GW "will be more of a guideline rather than a firm cap." The firm adds China's solar policy discussion is "fluid," and that the government remains committed to supporting solar adoption.
- Notable solar decliners (in addition to the aforementioned companies): HSOL -12.1%. SPWR -5.6%. CSUN -5.5%. JASO -3.4%. DQ -2%.
- Last Friday: Solar stocks fall in spite of market rally
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. 26, 2013, 10:07 AM
- With JA Solar's (JASO -10.5%) shares having tripled from their April lows going into the company's Q3 report, investors aren't in a forgiving mood over its EPS miss, even though it's accompanied by a revenue beat and 500.2MW of cell/module shipments (beating guidance of 450MW-470MW).
- A 37% Q/Q increase in opex to $37.5M (blamed partly on a $7.5M accounts receivable provision) had much to do with the EPS miss.
- JA is guiding for Q4 cell/module shipments of 500MW-550MW, and has upped its full-year shipment guidance to 1.9GW-1.95GW.
- Like many peers, JA is seeing steadily rising gross margins. Q3 GM was 11.3%, up from 8.1% in Q2 and -5.9% a year ago.
- China accounted for 38.7% of shipments, other parts of Asia-Pac 39.3%. Europe's share dove to 9.3% from Q2's 19.7%, while the Americas rose to 10.7% from 7.9%. Module shipments to the U.S. more than tripled Q/Q. Chinese and Japanese demand are also said to be healthy.
- JA ended Q3 with $401.1M in cash/equivalents, and $628.1M in debt.
- Q3 results, PR
Nov. 26, 2013, 7:17 AM
Nov. 26, 2013, 12:05 AM
Nov. 25, 2013, 5:30 PM
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%.
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