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.
Nov. 11, 2014, 12:15 PM
- Newly-public Vivint Solar (VSLR -21.6%) has nosedived after missing Q3 EPS estimates and guiding for Q4 revenue of $5.5M-$6.5M, below a $7.3M consensus. Installations are expected to fall to 45MW-47MW from Q3's 49MW.
- Rivals SolarCity (SCTY -3%) and SunPower (SPWR -3.2%) are following Vivint lower, as are several other solar names. RGSE -6.2%. ENPH -5.7%. CSIQ -2.5%. JKS -2.2%. DQ -4.1%. CSUN -2.7%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
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%.
May. 7, 2014, 11:45 AM
- A Q1 beat and full-year guidance hike aren't enough to keep First Solar (FSLR -4.2%) from selling off. Possibly contributing: In spite of the guidance hike, First Solar stated on its CC (transcript) Q2 EPS "will be significantly lower" than a $0.60 consensus due to project timings; that implies 2014 results will be very back-end loaded.
- Also: First Solar disclosed in its earnings slides (.pdf) its expected future systems/3rd-party module revenue is down $400M from the end of 2013 to $7.1B. However, expected module shipments are up by 100MW to 2.8GW, and potential booking opportunities have risen by 1.6GW to 12.2GW.
- Module production totaled 441MW, -1% Q/Q and +19% Y/Y. Conversion efficiency rose 10 bps Q/Q and 60 bps Y/Y to 13.5%, with lead-line efficiency rising 30 bps Q/Q and 120 bps Y/Y to 14.2%. The company is aiming for 18.1%-18.9% lead-line efficiency by 2017.
- Other solar stocks are also off (TAN -2.8%), as investors continue showing a take-no-prisoners attitude towards momentum stocks in general. Canadian Solar (CSIQ +0.3%) has given back the premarket gains it saw following a Q1 guidance hike.
- Notable decliners: SCTY -8.8%. SUNE -7%. TSL -5.5%. CSUN -5.1%. YGE -4.8%. SPWR -4.2%. DQ -5.7%.
Mar. 5, 2014, 8:29 AM
- Canadian Solar (CSIQ) -5.4% premarket after swinging to a Q4 profit but warning of weather-related effects on its top line in the current quarter.
- Q4 solar module shipments totaled 621 MW, up 30% Q/Q and 54% Y/Y.
- Issues downside guidance for Q1, seeing revenue of $415M-$430M vs. $545M analyst consensus estimates and solar module shipments of 470-490 MW, caused by severe winter in North America which delayed construction and recognition of ~$100M in revenue from some utility-scale projects in Canada.
- Expects FY 2014 shipments of 2.5-2.7 GW with revenue of $2.7B-$2.9B, in line with analysts' views, as project revenue recognition is back-end loaded.
- Sales have shifted strongly to Asia and the Americas: In Q4, the Asia region accounted for 62% of sales vs. 39% in the year-ago period, the Americas totaled 32% vs. 20%, and Europe accounted for 5.5% vs. 41% a year ago.
- ETFs: TAN, KWT.
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%.
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
Jun. 11, 2013, 10:40 AMVolatile solar stocks head south (TAN -4%) after LDK Solar (LDK -8.5%) beat Q1 revenue estimates by $7.1M, but missed EPS forecasts $0.25 thanks to a -57% gross margin (-42.7% exc. a $15.1M inventory write-down), and provided somewhat disappointing revenue guidance. JKS -5.5%. TSL -4.9%. JASO -6.2%. DQ -4.8%. SPWR -4.4%. FSLR -4.9%. YGE -5.2%. GTAT -3.6%. FSLR -4.9%. LDK ended Q1 with $174M in cash, $182M in pledged bank deposits, and a whopping $2.6B in debt. (SolarCity) | Comment!
May. 28, 2013, 10:33 AM2013's giant solar stock rally continues (TAN +3.9%) as the EU faces a backlash over Chinese tariff proposals, and Canadian Solar (CSIQ +15.2%) soundly beats Q1 estimates with the help of a 470 bps Q/Q increase in gross margin to 9.7%. Though CSIQ's opex would only have fallen 3% Y/Y if not for the reversal of a $30M arbitration award, it still fell 17% Q/Q (exc. one-time events) thanks to 25% Q/Q drop in selling expenses. Also: CSIQ is guiding for module shipments to rise to 380MW-410MW in Q2 from Q1's 340MW, and (like JA Solar) is seeing surging Japanese shipments - they rose 76% Q/Q in Q1, and made up 25% of total shipments. TSL +8.4%. JKS +4.6%. YGE +6.9%. LDK +4.8%. DQ +7%. SCTY +2.5%. | Comment!
May. 20, 2013, 10:45 AMJA Solar (JASO +34.4%) is now skying higher following its Q1 beat and full-year shipment guidance reiteration, and is providing fresh fuel for the colossal solar stock rally that started last fall (TAN +4.4%). TSL +13.3%. DQ +20%. LDK +9.9%. JKS +10.3%. SCTY +11.6%. SOL +9.4%. CSUN +8.9%. SPWR +4.9%. ASTI +9.4%. YGE +8.4%. CSIQ +6.6%. The fact 38% of JA's Q1 module shipments went to Japan (a market with higher ASPs/margins than China) is likely going over well with investors. | 6 Comments
Apr. 9, 2013, 1:41 PMFirst Solar (FSLR +23.8%) guides on its analyst day for 2013 revenue of $3.8B-$4B and EPS of $4-$4.50, far above a consensus of $3.15B and $3.46. Shares have spiked higher on the news, and were shortly halted due to volatility. Other solar names are also surging: SPWR +9.8%. TSL +8.7%. DQ +12.3%. STP +36.1%. LDK +15%. JKS +15.4%. WFR +7.5%. JASO +6.6%. (previous) Update (1:56): First Solar shares are now up 48.2%, and have been halted again. CNNMoney's Paul R. La Monica notes over 1/3 of the float is shorted. "Can you say squeeze?" | 9 Comments
Apr. 1, 2013, 2:00 PMDisappointing Q4 results from Daqo (DQ -9.8%), together with a general decline in risk assets, fuels a rout in solar names. YGE -7.9%. SOL -7.3%. JKS -5.4%. GTAT -4.1%. CSIQ -4.9%. SPWR -2.8%. WFR -2.5%. Daqo's Q4 revenue of $6.2M represented a 77% Y/Y drop, and was well below the $14.5M forecast by the one analyst providing estimates. Gross margin was -178.5% (no typo), a little worse than Q3's -51.1%. Polysilicon output is expected to total 720 MT in Q1, up from Q4's 592 MT. | Comment!
Nov. 16, 2012, 10:23 AMThe solar industry's bad earnings news won't let up. Yingli (YGE -8.3%) is the latest culprit, warning it expects to report a 17% Q/Q drop for Q3 module shipments on Nov. 28, something that doubtlessly means Yingli's prior guidance for a 31%-37% Y/Y increase in 2012 shipments won't hold. Gross margin is expected to total just 0%-1% if one doesn't include the reversal of a provision related to the ITC's anti-dumping duties, and -22% to -24% if one does. Solar stocks are selling off again (TAN -3%), capping off a brutal week. (Canadian Solar) | Comment!
Nov. 15, 2012, 1:55 PMIt's still no fun to be a solar manufacturer. Canadian Solar (CSIQ -14%) is seeing huge losses following its big Q3 miss, which is contributing to yet another sector rout (TAN -3.6%). Canadian's gross margin fell to a mere 2.2%, and would likely have been negative if not for its efforts (similar to those of peers) to expand into plant construction. The company expects to ship 380MW-420MW of modules in Q4, compared with 384MW in Q3, and record a gross margin of 1%-3%. (yesterday) (transcript) | 2 Comments
Aug. 8, 2012, 4:24 PMSunPower (SPWR) is now down 14.1% AH following its Q2 report. It looks as if the Street is skeptical about full-year guidance, and is focusing on the Q2 top-line miss and soft Q3 forecast. SunPower's gross margin rose 240 bps Q/Q to 15.1% thanks to a 10% drop in cost per watt, and played a big role in the EPS beat. However, it's expected to fall to the 10%-12% range in Q3. Other solar names could end up declining tomorrow in sympathy. (PR) | Comment!
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