Thu, Apr. 9, 12:29 PM
- Believing "numerous catalysts" exist for the next 6-9 months, BofA/Merrill (Buy) is holding onto its $95 SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) target (71% above current levels).
- Among the potential catalysts: 1) Clarity on California's solar retail rates and net metering policies. 2) Improved booking/installation mix leading to better retained value. 3) The arrival of 2016 installation guidance (possibly in Q4). 4) The "emergence of a cash flow oriented view of [SolarCity's] operating systems."
- The firm values SolarCity's existing operating business at $40/share. It assigns a $55/share valuation to its solar development ops, which was forecast to deliver 15.4GW of installations from 2018-2024. BofA sees SolarCity ending 2016 with 3.1GW of cumulative leased installations that will respectively produce $355M and $200M in unlevered and levered cash flow.
- Also: Though admitting Arizona's policies are a setback - SolarCity has sued a local utility for placing ~$50/month in surcharges on new solar installations - BofA notes "constructive regulatory frameworks" have emerged elsewhere. SA author Simple Investment Ideas argued yesterday Arizona-like utility charges won't hold up long-term.
- Smaller rival Vivint (VSLR +3.2%) has joined SolarCity in rallying.
Mon, Mar. 30, 1:00 PM
- After initially trading lower today, SolarCity (SCTY +1.5%) has caught a bid from an Elon Musk tweet stating a "major new Tesla product line -- not a car" will be unveiled on April 30.
- Musk is the chairman of both SolarCity and Tesla. 15 months ago, the companies announced a backup energy storage solution for SolarCity solar installations that relies on Tesla battery packs. Tesla's gigafactory plans have fueled speculation the company could become a major battery supplier to third parties.
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.
Mon, Mar. 16, 7:20 AM
- SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) has unveiled GridLogic, a microgrid service that combines distributed solar, batteries and controllable loads to enable a cleaner and more affordable way of providing power when a grid is down.
- The microgrid service can operate either in conjunction with or independently of the utility grid.
Fri, Mar. 13, 12:50 AM
- SolarEdge (Pending:SEDG), an Israeli maker of power converters and related inverters for solar systems, has set a $16-$18 price range for its 7M-share IPO. That spells a valuation range of $610M-$686M. (prospectus)
- SolarEdge's systems replace traditional solar junction boxes with DC/DC converters (referred to by the company as power optimizers) attached to individual solar panels; the converters optimize power output by tracking each module's maximum power point. They also feature DC/AC inverters that are simpler and cheaper than traditional inverters (since power tracking and voltage management is handled by the power optimizers), and Web-based system monitoring software.
- The company had revenue of $140.3M (+141% Y/Y) during the six months ending Dec. 31, and net income of $5.9M. Shipped products went into 389MW of systems, up from 153MW a year earlier.
- SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) is SolarEdge's biggest client: The U.S. solar installer accounted for 32.3% of revenue during the aforementioned timeframe. Vivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR) is also a customer.
- Top microinverter maker Enphase (NASDAQ:ENPH) is a major rival. SolarEdge claims its systems are cheaper, more reliable, and offer better shade tolerance than microinverter-based systems (among other things).
Wed, Mar. 11, 12:37 PM
- Under a new reseller deal, DirecTV technicians visiting customer homes will be able to pitch homeowners on SolarCity's (SCTY +1.5%) solar installation/electricity services in every major market SolarCity operates in. A $400 rebate will be provided to homeowners who sign up for the deal between March 11-18.
- DirecTV has 20M+ U.S. customers. SolarCity's existing reseller partners include Best Buy, Home Depot, and fellow Elon Musk company Tesla.
Thu, Mar. 5, 1:46 PM
- SolarCity (SCTY +2.9%) has joined other solar stocks in rallying following Canadian Solar and Vivint Solar's Q4 reports. Vivint, a SolarCity rival, reported Q4 installations of 50MW above guidance of 45MW-47MW. SolarCity's Q4 deployments (slightly different from installations) totaled 176MW.
- Helping SolarCity's cause: VP Jimmu Chuang offered positive remarks at a Bloomberg conference about the idea of creating master limited partnerships (MLPs - publicly-traded entities for which only distribution payments are taxed) for solar assets.
- Chuang: "[In] this industry, we need a lot of help because the public policy is not as good. REIT is certainly one intriguing idea. MLP, to me, is more exciting because ... we need a lot of tax equity investment because that’s how the structures work." Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) plans to reintroduce a bill that would pave the way for solar MLPs.
- Yesterday: SolarCity expand to New Mexico, sues Arizona utility
Wed, Mar. 4, 5:43 PM
- SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) has made New Mexico the 16th state in which it operates: The company "plans to open a local solar operations center in Albuquerque this month and initially expects to hire 50 local employees in sales, installation and related roles."
- The company's MyPower solar loan program (12K+ customers nationally) will be offered to New Mexico homeowners. SolarCity states NM "will be the first place where SolarCity has launched solar service through MyPower exclusively."
- Meanwhile, in neighboring Arizona, SolarCity is suing utility Salt River Project (SRP - provides electricity to the Phoenix metro area) for allegedly engaging in "unlawful abuse of monopoly power" by placing distribution and demand charges on customers generating their own power.
- The charges, approved by SRP last Thursday, will add a ~$50/month fee starting in April to leased and owned solar systems installed after Dec. 8, when the plan was first floated. SolarCity claims applications have fallen 96% in SRP territory since Dec. 8; the company accounts for about half of the 15K solar customers in the region.
- SA author Casual Analyst recently argued the impact of SRP's charges is "likely to be devastating" for SolarCity, and that it may have contributed to the company's Q4 deployment miss.
Thu, Feb. 26, 9:20 AM
- Hungry as ever to add more project financing, SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) has created a $750M fund to finance residential solar projects in 14 states and Washington D.C. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which is no stranger to renewable investments, will be investing $300M in the fund.
- Google and SolarCity partnered on a $280M residential project fund back in 2011. SolarCity stated last week it had already lined up most of the financing it needed to hit a 2015 deployment target of 920MW-1GW.
- SolarCity has risen to $54.00 premarket.
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%.
Wed, Feb. 18, 4:57 PM
- SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) deployed 176MW of solar systems in Q4, +70% Y/Y but below guidance of 179MW-194MW; it blames delays for "a few large commercial projects." The company is maintaining 2015 deployment guidance of 920MW-1GW (up from 2014's 502MW).
- For Q1, SolarCity is providing installation guidance rather than deployment guidance, arguing it gives "a true reflection of our capabilities before the unpredictability around the timing of inspections in between installation and deployment." Q1 installation guidance is at 145MW (up over 100% Y/Y), a figure said to reflect Northeast seasonality and typical Q1 commercial softness. Q1 EPS guidance of -$1.65 to -$1.75 is below a -$1.25 consensus.
- Q4 bookings totaled 206MW, -11% Q/Q (seasonality is blamed) but +103% Y/Y. 21.3K new customers were added, raising the cumulative count to 189.7K. Estimated contracted payments rose by ~$900M Q/Q to $5B, and retained value forecast by ~$200M to $2.45B.
- Cost/watt fell to $2.86 from Q3's $2.90; SolarCity is aiming to hit $2.50 by 2017. SolarCity plans to begin installing equipment at Silevo's Buffalo solar module plant in Q1 2016, and reach 1GW of capacity by 2017.
- The company ended 2014 with over $640M in cash/investments, $245M in long-term debt, $230M in convertible debt, and $53M in solar asset-backed notes.
- Q4 results, shareholder letter (.pdf), presentation (.pdf)
Wed, Feb. 18, 4:12 PM
Tue, Feb. 17, 5:35 PM
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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, Feb. 2, 9:10 AM
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%.
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