Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Trina, You Little Tease (TSL)

Continuing the self-referential (reverential?) commentary, in our post relaying the news of the Senate's passage of the ITC and PTC, we took pains to mention:...
Trina (TSL) has done a lot of groundwork* to build U.S. market-share and has publicly stated that passage would increase their business, but I think the largest initial move will be in the first five names....
As of, well, the last time I bothered to look, Trina was one of only three Chinese solar Co.'s with U.L. approval, required to do business in the U.S.
Today we get a flurry of Trina related stories, this first one is a biggie.
From Reuters:

CORRECTED-Trina sees 20 pct silicon cost drop in 2009
Trina Solar Ltd (TSL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects its silicon costs to drop by as much as 20 percent in 2009, while the average selling price of its solar modules will fall by a more modest 5 to 6 percent, an executive said on Wednesday.

That decline in silicon costs versus the more modest selling price decline would lead to a "a significant margin expansion," Arturo Herrero, Trina's vice president of sales and marketing, told Reuters in an interview....MORE

From the company via Yahoo Finance:

Trina Solar to Power North America's Largest Single Rooftop InstallationTrina Solar Limited

(NYSE: TSL; "Trina Solar" or the "Company"), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, founded in 1997, today announced that shipments began this month to provide more than 13,400 solar PV modules to power the Atlantic City Convention Center ("ACCC"). This supply comes as part of a signed agreement with general contractor American Capital Energy, who is managing project integration and installation for Pepco Energy Services and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority ("ACCVA"). The agreement provides for up to four additional megawatts ("MW") to be supplied during 2009....MORE
Also a mention in this Reuters story:

UPDATE 1-Solar stocks jump after Senate backs tax credits

*From September 11: "Trina Solar Close To Signing Its First US Integrator Deals (TSL)"

I say tease because Trina has a history of great operational and strategic strengths and ridiculous middle management and shareholder moves (SNAFU's). A couple examples of the latter, they got a $158 million contract and the only press release was from the buyer, in Italian:

Siglato un contratto quadro del valore di 158 milioni di dollari
GreenergyCapital e Trina Solar, accordo per il fotovoltaico

Raymond James reiterated a 'Strong Buy', so of course the only mention was from one small news service, in German:

Rating-Update: St. Petersburg ( AG) - Die Analysten von Raymond James stufen die Aktie von Trina Solar (ISIN US89628E1047/ WKN A0LF3P) unverändert mit "strong buy" ein. Auch wenn sich die Solarbranche Unsicherheiten gegenüber sehe, sei...

S&P initiated coverage on Trina, the information was only available to subscribers for a couple days:

I don't have a link I can give you but I just double checked MarketScope, here's the short version:

So we'll see. I'm betting that superior marketing and operational execution overcomes the support goofiness.