Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Solar Shares Collapsing; Where’s The Bottom?

Poor little Canadian Solar was down 20 % today. What did the Canadian's ever do to us?
(before you send the email, I know it's a Chinese company. I was thinking of my great-aunt who, when told by her broker that Proctor & Gamble was splitting, is reputed to have said "But they've been together so long")
From Tech Trader Daily:

As far as I can tell, the sun is operating normally.

But you might think otherwise, judging from this week’s action in solar stocks. The sector, which suffered considerable losses yesterday, today went into free fall, with many names in the sector suffering losses of more than 10%. Exactly why investors decided to bail on the stocks today is unclear, but there are a number of factors that appear to be contributing to the current solar scare.

  • Lehman analyst Vishal Shah wrote a note on the solar sector that in general was quite bullish, and in fact repeated his recommendations on First Solar (FSLR), SunPower (SPWR), Suntech (STP) and JA Solar (JASO). But Shah also noted that most solar companies have provided “somewhat aggressive guidance” for 2009 on the assumption that poly supply would become readily available from the spot market or silicon partners. He writes that supply tightness is likely to continue for now, and that solar ASPs are likely to decline at a faster rate than poly costs for companies without relatively long-term supply contracts. In particular, he cautions that gross margin pressure could be an issue for “most” Chinese solar companies.
  • A tight supply for polysilicon would in theory be good news for MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR). However, Credit Suisse’s Satya Kumar today cut his target price on the company to $45 from $50, repeating his Neutral rating....MUCH MORE (read the comments, too)