Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Suntech, First Solar Warn Of Lower Prices, Greater Competition" (FSLR; STP)

FSLR is trading down $3.04 at $127, Suntech is up 2 cents at $8.53.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP) and First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the world's top solar panel suppliers, warned Monday that potential cuts in European government subsidies for solar power could lead to both lower demand and prices for their products, a combination that could hit their bottom lines.

Both China-based Suntech and U.S.-based First Solar have ramped up production of solar panels over the last few years, amid growing demand for solar power in Europe and a handful of other countries, including the U.S., China and India. Although both companies have been working to increase sales outside Europe, which accounted for more than 80% of solar-panel demand in 2010, the region is expected to dominate the global solar-power market this year. If European demand falls, it is unclear if the rest of the world will pick up the slack.

"Reductions in feed-in tariff programs may result in a significant fall in the price of and demand for (solar photovoltaic) products," Suntech wrote in an annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "We believe that in the time of uncertainty of political and policy developments, competition among solar manufacturers could become fierce."

First Solar expressed a similar sentiment, saying that pending cuts in government subsidies for solar power, called "feed-in tariffs" in Germany, France and Italy, could hit the market hard.

"In light of continually evolving (feed-in tariff) structures in our core European markets, it is uncertain whether growing demand from other countries and markets could absorb industry-wide module supply without significant inventory build-up or price reductions," First Solar wrote in an annual 10-Q report filed with the SEC....MORE
There was a reason for the choice of our first recipient of the Climateer "Our Hero" award back in 2007.

The 26th Secretary of War, the Democrat and Republican (!) Senator from Pennsylvania, Simon Cameron:

Our Hero
Simon Cameron
"The honest politician is one who 
when he is bought, will stay bought."