Posts Tagged ‘Solar’

The Case For Shorting Solar Stocks

The Case For Shorting Solar Stocks (FSLR, STP, YGE, SPWRA)

solar companiesCourtesy of Vincent Fernando at Clusterstock

Industry fundamentals are looking pretty bad for solar.

After enjoying a few years of tight supply, far too much solar production capacity is coming online as a result.

Government policy hasn’t helped either. For 2009, half of total solar production might not even be sold due a change in government policy from a major solar buyer, Spain.

WSJ: Spain accounted for more than 40% of all new solar panel installation globally last year, installing 2.7 gigawatts — five times the 2007 figure — out of a global total of 5.6 gigawatts. According to Spain’s photovoltaic industry association, Asif, the country’s market was worth €16.38 billion ($23.24 billion). This year, with cuts to aid and a more complicated application process, there has been no new installation in Spain.

Other countries are introducing aid to the solar sector, particularly the U.S. But the new U.S. measures aren’t expected to arrive in time to shore up demand this year. And while China has pledged support for the solar industry via economic-stimulus packages, support is likely to primarily benefit its own low-cost producers that have easy access to credit from state-owned Chinese banks.

Even based on bullish Barlcays numbers shown below, supply is likely to oustrip demand by 30-40% for many years. This could collapse prices down to merely the cost of production… or worse.

Sahm Adrangi: Currently, there is too much supply in all the steps. There is too much polysilicon. There are too many wafers. There are too may solar cells and there are too many modules. The oversupply began in 4Q08, and has only become more exacerbated as time has gone on. Polysilicon prices have crashed from about $400/kg to about $70/kg. Marginal cost is estimated to be around $35 to $45/kg, and I’ll bet that prices will get there soon enough.

Solar Oversupply

Perhaps companies such as Suntech (STP), Yingli (YGE), SunPower (SPWRA), and even First Solar (FSLR), despite its technology advantage, could be in for a long, nasty price war.

 


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Why First Solar Faces A Tough Future

Why First Solar Faces A Tough Future (FSLR, STP, TSL)

Courtesy of Jay Yarow at Clusterstock, Green Sheet 
 

 

 

 
 


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Will We Hold It Wednesday? My Rangeish Outlook

What a pretty picture "THEY" painted yesterday! 

I titled yesterday's post "8,900 or Bust" and it did look like a bust around lunch as we tested our hold targets of Dow 8,800 (8,811 was the low), S&P 946 (944), Nas 1,860 (1,892), NYSE 6,200 (6,084) and Russell 530 (518) but, just after 1pm, a miracle occurred and the buy programs kicked in, leading to an absolutely frenzied finish that brought us right around our upside targets of Dow 8,878 (finished at 8,915), S&P 956 (954), Nas 1,909 (1,916), NYSE 6,231 (6,154) and Russell 535 (525). 

Both the Russell and the NYSE were pumped up near their breakout targets first thing in the morning but both failed there and both broke below "must hold levels."  Keeping an eye on our levels allowed us to make bullish plays on ZION (hedged to $10.16 and another at $9), IWM (that one stopped out), C (bull call leaps) and CAL (hedged to $7.50).  We also added more YUM calls in our $5,000 Virtual Portfolio as well as a bearish ratio backspread on WFC, expecting them to have rough internal numbers, as are many banks this Q (something that kept us from being too bullish overall).  We covered all this bullishness by half uncovering our long DIA puts, still wary of a pullback but ready to re-cover (flipping bullish) if the Dow holds the nonsense move they made into the close.  As I said yesterday – keep up the nonsense for a couple of days in a row and it starts looking like firm support. 

Eps beat rate   BespokeAs we were discussing in Member Chat last night, perhaps it's not all nonsense.  Take a look at this visualization of earnings beats by Bespoke.  I said back when we went bullish two weeks ago that we need 66% of the S&P to beat estimates in order to sustain a rally and we are now well ahead of that pace with almost 72% of the reporting companies coming in BTE.  How bearish can you be in the face of such overwhelming results?  Yes the expectations were low and yes the "beats" are still coming in with revenues that are about 20% or so lower than last year but 20% is not 40%, and that's how far off the top our markets still are.  These numbers are market FACTS, as opposed to the rumors and panic…
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Cautious About First Solar

Analysts Sound Cautious About First Solar (FSLR)

Jay Yarow at the Green Sheet of ClusterStock

First SolarFirst Solar (FSLR) gave an "impressive" presentation yesterday at its investor/analyst meeting about the future of its business, but it wasn’t enough to make analysts feel better about the stock.

We’ve received analyst reports morning from FBR, Deutsche Bank and Cannaccord Adams. Here’s their summaries:

Canaccord Adams downgraded from Buy to Hold with a $180 price target with a 25x multiple of its 2009 EPS estimate.

IMPACT: Modestly negative. First Solar remains the leading solar company, in our opinion; however, the company issued fairly ambitious targets with respect to the project pipeline and technology advances, and a lack of visibility into further positive catalysts remains. Additionally, the company’s business model and financial model are changing fairly significantly. As we suspected, the company’s new focus will lower GMs but likely increase income in absolute terms. While the company has finally properly set expectations, we believe that the decreasing margin profile may turn some investors off until the higher income and cash flows actually materialize.

FBR has an underperform rating with a $110 price target with 5X EV/sales and 12x EV/EBITDA, versus the its peer group (SPWRA, STP, TSL, YGE) average of 1.5x EV/sales and 8x EV/EBITDA.

We walked away from the First Solar (FSLR) analyst event impressed with the quality of presentation and the company’s long-term vision, which was communicated clearly, We continue to believe that First Solar is among a few industry leaders that have sound long-term and short-term strategies based on the realities of the industry. However, in light of the fact that the company has now publicly acknowledged that the business model is changing (revenue mix has changed from one item to three separate items), we think there is an increased probability of a capital increase (to beef up the balance sheet), while challenges remain in the near term (excess inventories, customer insolvency, tight credit market) that are the most important factors, which, in our view, will pressure the stock for the remainder of CY09. Additionally, we walked away feeling incrementally confident that the consensus estimates are too aggressive and do not reflect the realities of the industry.

Deutsche Bank maintains its hold rating raising its price target to $170 from $167, with a 20x C2010 EPS valuation.

First Solar entering a transitional period…
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Are Environmentalists Out To Get First Solar? (FSLR)

Courtesy of Jay Yarow at ClusterStock

Are Environmentalists Out To Get First Solar? (FSLR)

A private citizen told California investigators to check out the land rights First Solar said it acquired when it paid $400 million in stock for OptiSolar’s project pipeline. When the deal was announced, First Solar said it received "strategic land rights of approximately 136,000 acres." In reality, OptiSolar only had applications for the land rights.

Applications are considerably less valuable. If First Solar labeled those applications as assets, and priced them into the acquisition, then the company may be in violation of the law. At this point, it’s unclear if First Solar did or did not label them as assets. It’s also unclear if it’s illegal to price them into the deal, reports Dow Jones.

In spite of the haze around this minor infraction, it’s receiving a decent amount of coverage. Major news outlets are reporting on it as well as most energy/solar focused blogs.

Our intial reaction was that this was much ado about nothing. The Bureau Of Land Managment in California is worried about speculators paying for applications, holding them, then selling them to developers at higher prices. We don’t consider First Solar a speculator, so we thought it was long shot that they were violating the law.

While developing a project is not First Solar’s typical operating pattern, it is a direction the company is heading. In the relase announcing the OptiSolar acquisition, First Solar mentioned other construction projects it was working on. For this reason, we don’t think First Solar plans on just selling off its application permits.

We are curious about the identity of the "private citizen" that tipped investigators. After news broke that First Solar was under investigation, Earth2Tech reported that:

A couple weeks ago we received an email query from an exec at an environmental group wondering about the legality and ethics of solar maker OptiSolar incorporating yet-to-be-approved Bureau of Land Management land applications into its price when solar giant First Solar agreed to acquire the thin-film PV company back in March. I’m not sure how legal it is, I told him, but I would assume


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Chinese Solar Companies In Trouble

Courtesy of Jay Yarow.  Jay covers green tech for The Business Insider - the Green Sheet.

Chinese Solar Companies In Trouble (STP, SOLA, LDK)

Even with billions in subsidies to float the Chinese solar industry there is considerable worry amongst investors:

  • Suntech (STP) investors concerned about customer relationship
  • Suntech shares fall 15 percent
  • Renesola (SOLA) cuts 2009 revenue view, stock down 11.6 pct
  • LDK (LDK) sees thin margins until market improves

By Matt Daily and Nichola Groom, Reuters – Chinese solar companies Suntech Power Holdings Inc, ReneSola Ltd and LDK Solar gave gloomy outlooks on Thursday as the credit crisis chokes off funding for renewable energy projects, and their shares fell sharply.

Solar manufacturers have been hit by the sharp decline in prices for photovoltaic products because the credit crunch is forcing new projects to be put on hold at the same time that new supplies are coming on the market.

Suntech, China’s largest solar panel maker, reported a surprise quarterly profit but disappointed investors when it revealed that Global Solar Fund, a customer in which it has a majority stake, accounted for more than 30 percent of first-quarter sales. Its shares fell 15 percent.

Global Solar Fund invests in companies that will own or develop solar projects, Suntech said.

"Suntech selling to a company that in turn sells to related companies can result in channel stuffing/earnings ‘massaging,’" Oppenheimer analyst Sam Dubinsky, who has an "underperform" rating on Suntech shares, said in a client note.

Suntech — based in Wuxi, China — also cut its shipment forecast for the year and said it will issue 20 million new shares, a move that will dilute its earnings per share. [ID:nBNG24881]

Renesola posted a first-quarter net loss and cut its revenue forecast for the year. Shares of the London-listed company fell 11.6 percent to 111 pence [ID:nLL951681].

LDK, which makes solar wafers, reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and declined to update its revenue forecast for the year, citing limited visibility. [ID:nN213015061]

LDK shares fell 6.2 percent in extended trade, however, after the company said margins would remain thin as prices on its products continue their fall and remain in line with its polysilicon and other costs.

"They just don’t have any margin, and it’s hard to see how they are going to get any margin in the next couple of quarters," said Soleil Securities analyst Paul Leming, who


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Phil's Favorites

Ending the pandemic will take global access to COVID-19 treatment and vaccines - which means putting ethics before profits

 

Ending the pandemic will take global access to COVID-19 treatment and vaccines – which means putting ethics before profits

Indian health workers doing health checks in Mumbai, June 17, 2020. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File

Courtesy of Nicole Hassoun, Binghamton University, State University of New York

As COVID-19 surges in the United States and worldwide, even the richest and best insured Americans understand, possibly for the first time, what it’s like not to have the medicines ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Ending the pandemic will take global access to COVID-19 treatment and vaccines - which means putting ethics before profits

 

Ending the pandemic will take global access to COVID-19 treatment and vaccines – which means putting ethics before profits

Indian health workers doing health checks in Mumbai, June 17, 2020. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File

Courtesy of Nicole Hassoun, Binghamton University, State University of New York

As COVID-19 surges in the United States and worldwide, even the richest and best insured Americans understand, possibly for the first time, what it’s like not to have the medicines ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is the Nasdaq 100's Out-Performance Nearing a Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is the latest ramp higher and Large-cap tech stocks have been the clear market leader, out-performing the broad market for months.

In today’s chart, we look at the Nasdaq 100 to S&P 500 performance ratio in an effort to answer the question: Is the ramp higher in tech stocks and severe out-performance sustainable?

While we may not be able to answer that question today, the ratio IS at an inflection point. And following today’s ratio chart should help us answer that question.

As a reminder, the ratio rises when the Nasdaq 100 is out-performing the S&P 500. Note also that it is a longer-term “monthly” price chart.

Important Br...

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Zero Hedge

Homebuilder Optimism Explodes Higher As Mortgage Rates Plunge To Record Lows

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

US Homebuilders’ Confidence index soared higher in July (to 72 from 58 last month), back to March (pre-COVID) levels.

  • Measure of present single family sales rises to 79 vs 63 last month

  • Future single family sales gauge rises to 75 vs 68 last month

  • Prospective buyers traffic measure rises to 58 vs 43 last month

...

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ValueWalk

Whitney Tilson Is Bullish On Bank Stocks

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors disucssing him being bullish on bank stocks; the bear case; Doug Kass with the bull case.

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Earnings Season For The Big Banks

1) It's earnings season for the big banks this week.

Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC) reported this morning... Goldman Sachs (GS) is up tomorrow... and Bank of America (BAC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) round things out on Thursday.

The sector has been decimated this year. The Invesco KBW Bank Fund (KBWB) is down 35% year to date, vast...



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Digital Currencies

Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg, Kanye, Apple Twitter Accounts All Hacked In "Nigerian" Bitcoin Scam, Over $100,000 Stolen In Minutes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

The twitter accounts of two of the world's richest men, Bill Gates and Elon Musk (and perhaps others) were hacked late on Wednesday, in what appears to be a version of a "Nigerian" bitcoin scam.

At 440pm ET, Musk tweeted the following:

Microsoft founder Bill Gates had a similar tweet.

As did Jeff Bezos:

...



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The Technical Traders

Second Phase Real Estate Collapse Pending

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Real estate, especially commercial real estate, is likely to be the first segment of the real estate market to enter the second phase of an extended collapse.  The COVID-19 virus has created an atmosphere where continuing operations for retail, restaurants, and many other business segments is virtually impossible to maintain.  Without the ability to earn sufficient income, thousands of restaurants and other retail businesses have already closed or are in the process of closing.  This has pushed the commercial real estate market into turmoil.  We believe the residential real estate market will follow the commercial market because consumers are going to suffer as commercial real estate collapses....



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Chart School

Dow 2020 Crash Watch - Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Like 1929 the markets have bounced. This time it is on the back of the FED $6.5T money printing.

Previous Post: Dow 2020 Crash Watch 

But can the FED blow $6T every time the market rolls down to test support.

Yes, maybe before the US 2020 elections the FED will do 'what it takes'. But post elections not so much, the year 2021 is a long way from the next election (presidential or congress) and defense of the markets may not be so supportive at $6T or $10T per market smash. The FED may hesitate, and that will be window for stocks to break lower.

The 36 month simple moving a...

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Lee's Free Thinking

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

 

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

Courtesy of  

The COVID 19 pandemic is, predictably, worsening again in much of the US. Only the Northeast, and to a lesser extent some Midwestern states, have been consistently improving. And that trend could also reverse as those states fully reopen.

The problem in the US seems to be widespread public resistance to recommended practices of social distancing and mask wearing. In countries where these practices have been practi...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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