Wed, May 20, 9:58 AM
- Chinese solar module maker Hanergy (OTCPK:HNGSF) fell 47% overnight in Hong Kong before getting halted. Reuters reports Hanergy, whose shares had risen 5x since September, has been "under investigation for several weeks by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission for alleged market manipulation."
- The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN -8.5%) and Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT -6%) are off sharply in early trading. In a cautious Tuesday column about the ETFs, SA author Casual Analyst observed Hanergy "constitutes almost 12% of TAN and 8% of KWT."
- Solar stocks sold off yesterday as Yingli plunged due to solvency fears. Yingli is paring its losses today after attempting to calm investors.
Tue, May 19, 11:26 AM
- Solar stocks are selling off for the second day in a row (TAN -1.7%) as Yingli (YGE -42.4%) plunges into penny stock territory after disclosing in its 2014 annual report (filed after the close last Friday) its financial woes "raise substantial doubt about [its] ability to continue as a going concern."
- Decliners include Chinese firms JinkoSolar (JKS -3.3%), ReneSola (SOL -6.4%), Trina (TSL -4.8%), and China Sunergy (CSUN -6.5%), as well as China-exposed Canadian Solar (CSIQ -4.8%), which yesterday held its investor day (presentations can be found here).
- U.S. firms SunPower (SPWR -3%) and Enphase (ENPH -2.9%) are also off. Enphase's decline comes in spite of an upgrade to Strong Buy from Needham.
- Yingli CFO Wang Yiyu downplays his company's disclosure, which has sparked fears Yingli will be the next Suntech or LDK Solar. "Potential risks don’t mean they will happen and don’t mean Yingli is facing or will face such risks. They shouldn’t cause an overreaction.”
- Wolfe Research's Gordon Johnson (formerly with Axiom, bearish on solar for a long time) thinks Yingli's disclosure has "caused a lot of investors to overlook massive debts on the balance sheets of pretty much EVERY publicly traded Chinese solar company," and that a Yingli liquidation could affect credit access for peers.
- RBC's Mahesh Sanganeria, however, argues Yingli's problems are company-specific. "It is well understood by now that global solar demand is strong this year, as evidenced by a number of large contract signing announcements, active solar project development and acquisition, and positive company earnings." He does admit solar cell/module prices have been falling, but suggests this is partly due to lower costs, along with a weak yen/euro and lower polysilicon prices.
Fri, May 8, 4:06 PM
- Solar stocks outperformed today (TAN +2.9%) amid a 1.2% gain for the Nasdaq. The gains arrived after solar power optimizer/inverter maker SolarEdge (SEDG +18.4%) trounced FQ3 estimates and provided equally strong FQ4 guidance in its first post-IPO earnings report. Standouts included Canadian Solar (CSIQ +8.3%), JinkoSolar (JKS +4.5%), ReneSola (SOL +5.6%), JA Solar (JASO +4%), Trina (TSL +4.4%), and Vivint (VSLR +5.3%).
- SolarEdge, which counts SolarCity and Vivint as clients (among others), says it "continued to see strong growth in the United States and Europe both in the residential and commercial markets" in calendar Q1. In a column under embargo until 7:54AM ET Saturday, SA PRO author Casual Analyst argues SolarEdge's offerings have "an architectural edge" against top microinverter maker Enphase. SolarEdge is now up 55% from its $20 March IPO price.
- Canadian's gains come a day after the company (shifting to a business model where it holds/operates solar project assets for a YieldCo instead of selling them) offered light Q2 guidance to go with a Q1 beat.
- Roth defended Canadian today. "The Q2 guide highlights the lack of contribution by the rich pipeline of Canadian historical projects and the weaker economics of the core manufacturing business ... Q2 may represent an 'air pocket' until yieldco details emerge, which will likely highlight the value creation enabled by the new entity."
Tue, Apr. 28, 3:10 PM
- Following years of oversupply, a solar module shortage might emerge in 2H15 thanks to rising demand, Canadian Solar (CSIQ +5.3%) CEO Shawn Qu tells Bloomberg.
- He notes Canadian (relies heavily on Chinese plants) plans to expand its module capacity to 3.5GW from a current 3GW, and its cell capacity by 400MW to as much as 2GW. Bloomberg has forecast global installations will rise to 57.2GW in 2015 from 40GW in 2013.
- Qu also reiterates Canadian's plans to do an IPO a solar project YieldCo, and says it could arrive in 2H15. The YieldCo will contain low-risk U.S., U.K., Canadian, and Japanese projects.
- Chinese module makers Trina (TSL +3.4%), JA Solar (JASO +3.9%), and JinkoSolar (JKS +2.8%) have joined Canadian in rallying on a quiet day for equities. U.S. solar installers SolarCity (SCTY +2.2%) and Vivint (VSLR +2.2%) are also higher, as is solar optimizer/inverter maker (and SolarCity/Vivint supplier) SolarEdge (SEDG +3.9%).
- ETFs: TAN, KWT
Wed, Apr. 1, 2:36 PM
- Though the Nasdaq is down 0.8% and the S&P 0.6%, solar stocks remain in rally mode. The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN +1%) is now up 32% YTD, following a rough 2014.
- SunEdison (SUNE +3.8%) is among today's standouts; its TerraForm Power YieldCo announced this morning it's buying 521MW of wind projects from Atlantic Power for $350M. Trina is also faring well after announcing the sale of a 50MW U.K. solar plant.
- Other standouts include Chinese plays ReneSola (SOL +2.7%), Yingli (YGE +2.2%), JinkoSolar (JKS +5.2%), JA Solar (JASO +2.5%), and China Sunergy (CSUN +7.6%).
Wed, Mar. 25, 3:41 PM
- A day after posting fresh gains while broader equity markets barely moved, solar stocks are posting steep losses (TAN -4%) amid a 2.2% drop for the Nasdaq.
- Hurting the group's cause: Yingli (down 14.7%) posted a Q4 miss this morning in spite of topping its solar module shipment guidance. ASP declines and a weak euro/yen weighed on the company's top line.
- Chinese firms ReneSola (SOL -7.5%), Daqo (DQ -5.7%), Trina (TSL -4.1%), and JinkoSolar (JKS -3.5%) are among the major decliners. But so are North American firms First Solar (FSLR -3.5%), SunEdison (SUNE -4.2%), Vivint (VSLR -3.8%), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ -3.2%).
- SunEdison announced today it plans to buy 1K vanadium flow batteries (good for over 100MWh) from Imergy Power Systems to store solar electricity produced by Indian minigrid projects. Along with the move, SunEdison is upping its equity stake in Imergy. The move comes shortly after SunEdison announced it's entering the solar/wind battery storage market itself by acquiring assets from private Solar Grid Storage.
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.
Thu, Mar. 5, 11:13 AM
- Solar stocks are up sharply in early trading (TAN +3.9%) after Canadian Solar offered strong Q1/2015 guidance to go with more subdued Q4 results, and stated it's "planning to form a YieldCo vehicle." Vivint Solar's Q4 solar installation beat also might be helping.
- Aside from Canadian and Vivint, gainers include SunEdison (SUNE +2.1%), ReneSola (SOL +7%), Yingli (YGE +3.2%), Trina (TSL +4.7%), JinkoSolar (JKS +4.6%), Enphase (ENPH +6%), and China Sunergy (CSUN +15.7%).
- SunEdison has announced it's entering the solar/wind battery storage market by acquiring "the energy storage project origination team, project pipeline, and ... four operating storage projects" from private Solar Grid Storage. In addition to offering battery storage, SunEdison will integrate its Renewable Operation Center with Solar Grid's solar/battery control services.
- ReneSola and Trina moved higher yesterday following their Q4 reports (I, II). Many solar names rallied 9 days ago in response to First Solar and SunPower's YieldCo JV plans.
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.
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.
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