Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

JinkoSolar Profits Soar, But Company Still Lacks Investor Respect

Jan. 26, 2023 6:30 AM ETJinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (JKS)11 Comments
Bamboo Works profile picture
Bamboo Works


  • JinkoSolar said its majority-owned, China-listed unit’s profit and adjusted profit rose up to 159% and 428%, respectively, last year.
  • Even after a recent big rally in its stock price, the company’s U.S.-listed shares still trade at a P/E ratio that’s about a half to a third of its peers.
  • JinkoSolar’s U.S. stock really does look quite undervalued and could be a good investment.

Jinko Solar company office building

Robert Way

Despite its status as one of the world's 10 largest solar panel makers, JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE:JKS) seems to hold the title of "least-respected" in its class. At least some of that dubious distinction could owe to the

This article was written by

Bamboo Works profile picture
Got a great investment idea on a US- or Hong Kong-listed China stock but don't know how to spread the word? We can help! Contact us at investors@thebambooworks.com. Bamboo Works (www.thebambooworks.com) is the premium source for news and analysis on Chinese companies listed in the United States and Hong Kong, with a strong focus on mid-cap and also pre-IPO companies. Contact us at info@thebambooworks.com to learn about opportunities for sponsored content.

Recommended For You

Comments (11)

engineeringeddie profile picture
This table of year-end PV price-per-kWh-energy-production calculations tells quite a story: docs.google.com/...

Several factors apply in the discounting of Chinese PV in Western financial markets. One factor we rarely discuss is the narrative Western markets are telling themselves about the PV industry vs. the narrative the rest of the world understands.

There are, broadly speaking, two financial market narratives about solar photovoltaics, the Euro-American-saviour narrative and the paradigm-shift narrative:

1) The saviour narrative is that roughly 1 billion people in the Euro-American sphere of influence provide the world's moral, financial and technological leadership in greening the economy by using their wealth to gradually subsidize PV adoption (with a weird emphasis on individual consumers' rooftop systems for some reason). This narrative says that the carrot for this mighty public support will be copious PV factory jobs for the people who'll lose their drilling and mining jobs. This narrative has a tendency to imagine the PV industry's future as a particular consequence of what happens in America and posits China as an obstacle to desired progress. The narrative has quite a hold on people -- even those who should know better. I've had posters on this site repeatedly explain to me that what the PV industry in China has accomplished doesn't really matter because China will be collapsing any day now and U.S. manufacturers will swoop in and dominate the sector.

2) The paradigm-shift narrative is that roughly 5.5-7 billion people in the world who have struggled to secure massive sources of energy for industrialization and quality of life improvements can now leapfrog costly, insecure and geopolitically-dangerous legacy systems to implement dirt-cheap, safe and linearly scalable energy infrastructure. This opportunity does not require long-term subsidization, but merely leverages prior Chinese investments in manufacturing and supply chain management that unlocked the scaleup potential of renewables as an economic (emphasis) and environmentally manageable (nice-to-have) option. This narrative does not really require noble sacrifices from heroically virtuous people -- it just imagines a kind of basic self-interest driven outcome.

The first narrative is principally concerned with symbolic victories and perceived virtue and assigns an extraordinary market premium to these things. It will happily reward "convincing" predictions of success as much, if not more than material accomplishments. This kind of self-image projection narrative tends to have no material limit to its hype ceiling, but is vulnerable to dramatic-performance degradation. Notice that Tesla's loftiest valuation collapsed (somewhat) after its cult of personality hero-narrative started glitching, even though its actual underlying business continued to perform well. The Euro-American saviour followers are looking for Western companies who will reinforce the idea that "people like me" will save the world and thereby dominate the alternative energy industry. This is how a company like Meyer Burger ended calendar 2022 with 64 times the value of JKS based on a market-capitalization-to-energy-devices-produced ratio (link at top of this post).

The second narrative is concerned with the trajectory of outcomes (better, worse, same). For them, the proof is in the pudding. Longi investors in China don't respond to Li Zhenguo's (plausible) predictions of a global 1 TWp annual production target in 2030 and they don't expect him to provide viral click-bait on the daily, nor do they care if he can be categorized as more or less virtuous than Al Gore. They look at his firm's present day investment in a single 100 GWp wafer plant and ask themselves about its consequences. They are not asking if the underlying investment positions correctly against a particular geopolitical narrative, they're asking if the story can actually scale. On the flip side, Jinko Solar's narrative in New York does not link to a particular Euro-American climate-hero narrative. Xande Li doesn't perform on the Internet or offer a new weekly predictions of hand-wavy technological utopias. Jinko Solar is not offering a triumphalist narrative, but it is offering a paradigm-shifting narrative -- one that can actually scale. I've done the math and it's even odds that this company will be providing more end-use energy to people around the world than Exxon Mobil by 2032. The Western markets haven't the slightest clue what Jinko Solar or the rest of the Fab Four are doing, where it is heading, or what that means for the world.
i_am_seeker_2 profile picture
@engineeringeddie Interesting post, thanks. Hard to believe that JKS "will be providing more end-use energy to people around the world than Exxon Mobil by 2032" but stranger things have happened (e.g., look at Amazon's sales trajectory or, back in the day, Walmart's!).

Who besides JKS and Longi are the "Fab Four"? Trina? CSIQ?
engineeringeddie profile picture
@i_am_seeker_2 the bigger-than-Exxon realization flows from the fact that solar PV manufacturing is an energy production integrator. Each year's deployed production continues to produce useful energy for another 30 years on average with no additional inputs (modest degradation in output must be accounted for, of course).

In the link below, I model the energy-production effects of Jinko Solar (entire enterprise) on a decelerating forward growth rate (for sake of being conservative) with a terminal production velocity of 175 GWp per year in 2031. I forward model Exxon Mobil on substantially better than trend production growth through 2031 before putting it into slow decline (as demand is met by cheaper PV and wind sources). Jinko surpasses Exxon by 2034 in this particular scenario, which I think is probably far too pessimistic on Jinko and too positive on Exxon.

For the sake of constraining the model, I close down both companies in 2050, which provides a revealing picture of the 75-year provision of energy from both between 2006 and 2080 in such a scenario.

Now repeat this scenario with the rest of the Fab Four (Longi, JA Solar and Trina), and probably add Canadian Solar, which also has a feasible path to 100+ GWp per year scale. That's to say nothing of the investment premium differential placed on oil & gas firms vs. PV firms. Consider the two (current) sets of Price-per-kWh-per-year of useful energy produced per year. The average oil and gas company is valued at more than 10 times the average PV company for the same amount of useful energy production.

OIL & GAS Companies:

PV Companies:

The market is simply clueless.
Motek Moyen profile picture
@engineeringeddie wow. just wow. you are a much better writer of unique angles. you should apply as a contributor here at SA. we need your insights. i have been using solar hybrid setup since 2015 but you could become the best solar-centric author here at SA.
Motek Moyen profile picture
thank you for this one. i like JKS. my solar panels are now mostly JinkoSolar, not bosca.
Who Dat? profile picture
@Motek Moyen
Who do you use to do the install with JKS panels?
Motek Moyen profile picture
@Who Dat? i did it myself for our refrigerator, desktop PC, laptops and lights. i have a snadi hybrid inverter for the 24volt system. the main batteries are electric cycle solid gel. the alternative batteries are old 2SM car sealed lead acid.
Disagree with this article? Submit your own. To report a factual error in this article, . Your feedback matters to us!
To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.