Monday, June 15, 2009

Solars Down Sharply; Prices “In Free Fall”; Beware TSMC (Updated)

Mr. Savitz is a bit late on this one but has the tidbit on Taiwan Semi. From Tech Trader Daily:

Solar shares, which in recent weeks have staged a ferocious rally, are getting hammered today, as investors take profits amid concerns about pricing and demand in the sector. As I noted last week, even some of the smallest and most speculative solar names had taken off, making the sector look more than a little frothy. But with some smaller solar players running into trouble - Hoku on Friday said it might run out of cash before it can complete a planned polysilicon factory - the stocks today are losing ground.

In a research report late Friday, FBR Capital analyst Mehdi Hosseini said that product prices in the sector are falling more than expected. He says that while investors are anticipating “a hockey-stick shaped demand uptick in the U.S., China and other emerging countries,” he instead sees a slow roll-out of subsidies, tightened terms from financiers and over-hyped news items, some from untrustworthy sources....MORE

...Update: One other thing. The New York Times on Saturday reported that Taiwan Semiconductor, the world’s leading contract chip manfuacturer, wants to get into the solar business, as well as the LED lighting market. The Times notes that TSMC is “one of the most formidable manufacturers on the planet,” and could drive down prices, as it did in the chip business. The piece notes that TSMC last week shifted CEO Rick TsaiMorris Chang, the company’s chairman and founder. to a new job targeted at finding new business opportunities; the company handed the CEO job to...