Thursday, February 5, 2009

Solar Stock's New Dawn (SPWRA; SPWRB)

From Barron's:

THE NURTURING MARKET environment that gave birth to scores of solar energy stocks in recent years has turned decidedly frigid in the past year.

But while other solar companies continue to falter, SunPower, the maker of the world's most-efficient solar panels, is starting to see a new dawn....

...The earnings release fueled double-digit gains in both the SunPower class A (SPWRA) and SunPower class B (SPWRB) shares. Both share classes are down roughly 70% from last September's highs.

But class B shares, which have nearly eight times the company's voting power, have traded at a persistent discount to class A shares and offer an even more compelling opportunity to invest in SunPower's long-term growth story.

At $26.20 a share, the class B stock is trading 10.6 times 2009 and 7.7 times 2010 earnings estimates,. The class A stock, at $32.67 a share, is going for 13.2 and 9.6 times 2009 and 2010 earnings estimates, respectively....

..."SunPower and First Solar have a good shot of splitting up the business on the utility side," says Theodore O'Neill, senior analyst at Kaufman Bros. "One has efficiency and the other has the low cost of production; it's sort of the Lockheed and Boeing of the aircraft world."...MORE