SolarCity’s Investor Disconnect

by Debra Fiakas CFA This week solar panel installer SolarCity (SCTY:  Nasdaq) made its first earnings announcement following its initial public offering in December 2012.  The event was much anticipated even if only to get a glimpse of the company’s most notable (or it’s that notorious?) investor Elan Musk.  Billionaire Musk was mostly recently in the public eye because of a spat with a New York Times reporter over one of Musk’s other major investments, Tesla Motors (TSLA:  Nasdaq).  The reporter was entrusted to road test one of Tesla’s electric sports cars...

Solar Equipment Maker GT Advanced Technologies Lays Off 25 Percent of Workforce

Jennifer Runyon Responding to projections that the solar panel module overcapacity will continue for at least another year, solar equipment maker GT Advanced Technologies today announced a restructuring plan. The company will lay off approximately 25 percent of its workforce and consolidate its existing business units into a single Crystal Growth Systems (CGS) group. The company said that when fully implemented, the restructuring would save approximately $13 million in annualized expenses. GT expects to record restructuring charges associated with these actions in the amount of approximately $4.2 million in the December quarter. More details and commentary will be...

The Battle For the Heart of Suntech

Doug Young Dr. Zhengrong Shi Suntech Founder, Chairman and CSO.  Photo credit: Suntech Solar panel maker LDK (NYSE: LDK) started its long march to a takeover by the state with a major stake sale this week, but the equally cash-starved Suntech (NYSE: STP) looks like it may put up a bigger fight to maintain its independence. What's happening at Suntech comes down to a single word: Pride. The latest twist at Suntech also has broader implications, as the kind of pride we're seeing...

One Solar Installation, Five Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA Invest In What You Know "Invest in what you know" is an old stock market adage.  The idea is that, if you have some personal knowledge of the real economy, you can use that to make better investments.  How useful this adage is depends on how you apply it.  If you know more about a stock market sector than other investors because of "what you know," it's possible to make better investments because you may be better at spotting future trends.  If, on the other hand, you feel you know a sector...

Can We Blame China for Solar Manufacturer Bankruptcies? Yes.

Jennifer Runyon It really is all China's fault, say most solar experts, but the Chinese government's motivations aren't necessarily malicious.   Fingering China photo via Bigstock Today is the last day before the International Trade Commission makes its final ruling on the tariffs that will likely be added to solar panels that include cells that were manufactured in China. We'll report on the specifics as soon as we have them but it's a pretty safe bet that there'll be tariffs in the amount of...

It’s Time to Buy SolarCity

By Jeff Siegel Well, it was a record-breaking day for Texas last week. On March 26, at 8:48 p.m., nearly 30% of the Lone Star State's electricity was generated by wind. Most came from West Texas, and there wasn't a single issue regarding integration. Despite the common refrain of “the grid can't handle all this intermittent power,” Texans had no problem turning on the lights with all those extra wind-powered electrons. Of course, for those of you who rely on actual data instead of empty rhetoric, this should come as no surprise. In fact, a new study just...

China’s Solar Panel Makers Set For A Correction

Doug Young After a massive rally over the last year, shares of solar panel makers could be set for a few months of winter following a disappointing earnings announcement from superstar Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) and a debt default from second-tier player Chaori Solar (Shenzhen: 002506). Such a correction was almost inevitable after last year’s huge rally and shouldn’t be cause for concern among long-term buyers of shares in top players like Canadian Solar. But shareholders of second-tier firms like Chaori might think strongly about selling their stock, as these smaller companies could easily end up getting wiped...

Schizophrenic Signals Surround Sino Solar Stocks Yingli, ReneSola And Jinko

Doug Young Bottom line: YIngli’s debt restructuring plan and ReneSola’s early debt repurchase will bring some confidence to solar shares, but pessimism will quickly return as their situations deteriorate without major signals of new government support. Shares of Yingli (NYSE: YGE) and ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) have taken investors on a wild ride these last few weeks, reflecting the alternating hopes and fears gripping 2 of the shakiest companies in a solar sector crippled by a downturn now entering its fourth year. If I were a betting man, I would say the chances are better than 80 percent...

Report: Two Solar Technologies That Will Thrive; Two On the Demise

Steve Leone Solar technology photo via BigStock For every revolutionary advance in solar, there are countless evolutionary dead-ends technologies that were well worth exploring, but ones that ultimately failed to live up to the mantra of "cut costs or die." These are the Solyndras of the world. Their science may have raised the bar, but ultimately they were judged by the market, which measures the bar on cost alone. From that perspective, it’s more like a limbo line “How low can you...

LDK CEO Removed in Continuing China-Backed Rescue

Doug Young After a week of unusual quiet on the stormy solar panel front, the sector is splashing back into the headlines with word that struggling LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) is moving one step closer to a state-led takeover of the debt laden company. Meantime, China is also taking its own broader moves against recent protectionist actions in the West by lodging an official complaint at the World Trade Organization against what it is calling unfair treatment of its companies in Europe. Let's take a look at the LDK news first, as it's the most dramatic and...

Why SunPower (SPWR) is a Solid Bet on Solar

By Jeff Siegel I've been singing the praises of SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) since the company first went public. Even as renewable energy bears attacked anything with the word "solar" in the name, I stuck to my guns. And I'm glad I did. Here's a quick look at how SCTY has performed since its debut: Of course, at this point, SCTY is an easy ride. Even if the company's next earnings disappoint, the long view remains solid. So when the company delayed earnings this week, I didn't lose any sleep. The fact is, those who took...

China Puts The Brakes On New Solar Production Capacity

Doug Young Bottom line: New signals indicate Beijing plans to move aggressively to prevent solar panel makers from adding unneeded new capacity to help their local governments meet economic growth targets. A new low-key announcement from Beijing is hinting at a quiet struggle taking place behind the scenes in China’s promising but embattled solar panel sector, with the regulator saying it will stop the building of most new manufacturing capacity. On one side of this struggle are local government officials, who may be encouraging solar panel makers in their areas to add capacity that will benefit their...
P-Series

Introducing PERGY

Impressed by the number of stocks in the Crystal Equity Research alternative energy indices that have delivered exceptional price appreciation, the last few posts have been on a quest to find fundamental characteristics that could give an advance signal of a future star.  The post “Alternative Returns” on May 8th introduced the series identified future growth as a precursor of strong stock performance.  The next post “Quest for Growth” on May 11th looked at stocks with above average growth predictions.  Then the post “Alternative Bargains” looked at stocks in the alternative energy indices that are trading at below average price-earnings multiples. There is a...

MEMC and SunEdison, a Tale of Two Companies

by Paula Mints SunEdison (SUNE) has been in the news of late and with a confusing acquisition strategy, interesting financial decisions, layoffs and high debt it is beginning to look a lot like MEMC.  This is really a tale of two companies – one a raw material manufacturer and pioneer in silicon wafer technology founded decades ago, the other a pioneering developer in the commercial PV space, and how in becoming one, the combined company took on the personality of the raw material company. In the past MEMC engaged in an aggressive acquisition strategy...

Community Solar Providers In National Grid Territory

See the Buyer's Guide to New York Community Solar for details on how New York community solar works and lists for other utility territories. VENDOR NAME PRICING STRUCTURE ADDITIONAL DETAILS SPECIAL OFFERS Abundant Solar Power 10% discount subscription model Contract to be signed Amp Energy Mostly 10% subscription model 12-month contract with auto-renew option, termination fees waived with proper notice Astral Power 10% discount subscription model (Broker for solar farms) No cancellation fee. Bill needed in customer’s name $100 check and $100 donation to Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY Ampion 10% discount subscription model Free cancellation at any time, excess credit is banked BlueWave Solar 10% discount subscription model (Broker for solar farms) Links to own development as...

Brilliant Light Power – Commercialization Status

by Daryl Roberts A potentially paradigm-shifting technology has been under development at an R&D firm in NJ called Brilliant Light Power.   For people monitoring the situation, the question currently is about the status of commercialization.   It is not a publicly held firm, but is in mid-stages of private equity capitalization in the range of $100-120M. I recently read a book  titled "Randall Mills and the Search for Hydrino Energy", offering a detailed and compelling history of the development of this novel renewable energy technology, authored by an insider, an intern who stayed on to work there for several years (published in...
Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami