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.
Thu, Jan. 15, 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.
Thu, Jan. 8, 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
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.
Mon, Jan. 5, 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.
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.
Nov. 13, 2014, 1:58 PM
- Solar stocks can't catch a break this week. Down on Tuesday following Vivnt Solar's weak results and guidance, and down yesterday in the wake of Canadian Solar's numbers, they're off today after SunPower provided light 2015 guidance.
- Notable decliners: FSLR -4.3%. SUNE -5%. CSIQ -6.9%. JKS -5%. SOL -4.7%. JASO -3.2%. VSLR -3.7%. SOL -4.7%. CSUN -7.9%.
- Chinese polysilicon maker Daqo (DQ -10.1%), which posted mixed Q3 results this morning, is selling off after opening higher.
- Is a lot of bad news priced in? The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN -1.6%) is now down 33% from a March high of $51.07, and not far from a 52-week low of $32.23.
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
Oct. 13, 2014, 4:09 PM
- Solar and fuel cell companies are among the biggest decliners on a day that saw NYMEX crude oil prices fall below $85/barrel (they're now slightly above), and Reuters report the Saudi government "will accept oil prices below $90 per barrel, and perhaps down to $80, for as long as a year or two." The Nasdaq as a whole finished down 1.4%.
- Of note: Oil only accounts for 1% of U.S. electricity production, and also a small percentage of electricity output in many other large economies.
- Solar decliners: SUNE -10.7%. FSLR -5.9%. SCTY -9.7%. DQ -9.4%. CSIQ -8.1%.JASO -7.7%. SOL -8.6%. TERP -7.5%. JKS -6.7%. CSUN -5.9%. VSLR -6.3%. TSL -8.7%. YGE -5%.
- Fuel cell decliners: FCEL -6%. PLUG -4.7%. BLDP -7.4%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Sep. 12, 2014, 2:14 PM
- Solar stocks are on the move after Trina Solar (TSL +3.7%) CEO Gao Jifan says its factories are operating at full capacity but the company still can't meet the demand for its solar panels.
- China's top three solar panel makers are at full capacity and will have to expand their production, Gao says, noting that TSL's solar panel production will rise to 3.8 GW by year-end, up from ~3.4 GW at the end of June.
- China recently announced new subsidies for smaller solar energy projects, which Goldman Sachs says will make selling power to the country's electrical grid much more lucrative for the operators and will cause prices of solar components to rise.
- CSIQ +2.6%, CSUN +7.4%, YGE +3%, FSLR +1.7%, SPWR +0.8%, JASO +2.4%, SOL +5.4%.
- ETFs: TAN, KWT
Sep. 4, 2014, 1:51 PM
- Making good on an August Bloomberg report, China's National Energy Administration (NEA) has called on local governments to identify and support distributed solar projects in their realms.
- As previously reported, extra subsidies will be encouraged for rural and government projects, public infrastructure installations will be promoted, and financial firms have been told to offer discounted loans.
- The NEA is trying to hit an 8GW 2014 distributed solar installation target in spite of a slow start to the year. Its target for utility-scale projects stands at 6GW.
- Several Chinese solar stocks are rallying, as are a few non-Chinese names. YGE +5.1%. CSIQ +3.6%. JASO +3.8%. TSL +2.3%. SOL +2.1%. HSOL +5.2%. DQ +4.7%. ENPH +6.6%. ASTI +6.1%. RGSE +2.8%. SolarCity (SCTY +5.1%) is up after announcing plans to open 20 new operations centers.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Aug. 19, 2014, 10:20 AM
- "Based on our checks, we estimate the probability of [trade settlement] success is now ~30-40% vs. prior expectations of 5-10%," writes Roth. "The narrative for Chinese solar stocks, in our view, has shifted to a more positive tone."
- Roth's remarks follow a letter from a law firm representing the Chinese government to the U.S. Commerce Department proposing talks for a solar tariff suspension agreement. Last week, Beijing retaliated against U.S. solar module tariffs by closing a loophole for U.S. and Korean polysilicon imports.
- Though admitting many Chinese suspension offers have been rejected over the years, Roth thinks "the Chinese government would not have made an offer without believing it would have a decent probability of success as it does not want to be rejected by the US government publicly."
- Notable gainers: YGE +3.9%. TSL +3.9%. JASO +3.3%. SOL +3.9% CSUN +6%. HSOL +4.3%.
- Solar ETFs: TAN, KWT
Aug. 5, 2014, 11:57 AM
- Bloomberg reports China's National Energy Administration (NEA) might soon announce policies calling on local planners to support more distributed solar projects - specifically, projects in industrial zones, and for companies with buildings sporting large rooftops.
- Among others things, local governments will be encouraged to offer more distributed solar subsidies, and to promote installations on public infrastructure. Financial firms will be urged to offer discounted loans, and to create solar investment funds.
- China is aiming for 8GW of 2014 distributed solar installations (to go with 6GW of utility-scale installations), but there have been doubts the target will be hit following a slow start to the year. Deutsche argued in May 2GW could be a more realistic distributed target.
- Chinese solar names are up strongly. U.S. giant First Solar reports after the bell. TSL +8.4%. CSUN +7.6%. JKS +8.3%. SOL +6.7%. CSIQ +6.3%. JASO +5.7%. HSOL +4.8%. YGE +4.8%. DQ +4.1%. YGE +4.8%.
- Solar ETFs: TAN, KWT
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