Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Solar Sector Had a Hot Third Quarter (FSLR; SPWRA)

During the 2nd quarter earnings reporting season the general pattern was for the stocks to rise approaching the report date and tumble afterward.
From Barron's:

Wedbush Morgan sees strong results from SunPower and First Solar.

GENERALLY SPEAKING, we believe the third quarter was a very good quarter for most solar-module manufacturers. End-market demand increased during the month of July and accelerated throughout the quarter driven by installations in Europe, primarily Germany.

We expect SunPower (ticker: SPWRA) and First Solar (FSLR) will post strong third-quarter results. We believe investors are expecting strong results from both companies.

While we believe most companies will report impressive results for third-quarter 2009, we expect investors to focus on the near-term outlook for fourth-quarter 2009 and first-quarter 2009. We expect fourth-quarter 2009 to be down sequentially for most companies as installations in Europe typically slow around the Thanksgiving holiday due to the start of winter weather in key markets such as Germany. We do believe first-quarter 2010 will exhibit typical seasonality as photovoltaic projects in Germany slow down due to the new feed-in-tariff rate and winter weather.

Despite the likely strong results for the third quarter, we expect investors to critically examine the strength of solar companies' balance sheets and cash flow due to negative trends that began earlier this year. We do expect investors to closely examine accounts receivable, inventory levels and operating cash flow....MUCH MORE