Thursday, February 9, 2012

As Solar Soars, Climateer Snoozes (FSLR; TSL; LDK)

My laser like focus was directed elsewhere.
[Dilbert strips? -ed]
From Barron's Tech Trader Daily:

Solar Soars: Deutsche Upbeat on Demand; Jefferies, Avian Object
Solar energy technology provider stocks are surging today, and have risen sharply over the last month or so, with First Solar (FSLR) up 36% in that time, SunPower (SPWR) up 32%, Trina Solar (TSL) up 57%, Yingli Green Energy (YGE) up 42%, and Suntech Power Holdings (STP) up 74%, to name just a few of the more prominent cases.

The proximate cause of today’s rally is a note by Deutsche Bank’s Vishal Shah, who wrote that his checks suggest demand is increasing, as evident in rising utilization of solar module factories:
Recent checks across the solar supply chain indicate further confirmation of preliminary signs of a pick-up in demand. Utilization rates are increasing and poly prices could likely increase further in Feb. Demand pick-up in multiple markets appears to be the primary driver of recent strength in fundamentals. Tier 1 companies in China, Taiwan and Korea are seeing increasing bookings momentum and as such are currently running at ~100% utilization. Downstream companies in Europe are also seeing rising orders and as such are likely looking to accelerate module deliveries by paying for air freight.
Any rally like today’s naturally brings out the bears.

Mark Bachman with Avian Securities issued some words of advice to the firm, though he didn’t produce a formal note on the matter.

In a phone call this afternoon, he told me he advises investors continue to short “the biggest Chinese module producers,” including LDK Solar (LDK), Trina, JA Solar (JASO), ReneSola (SOL), and Yingli. Bachman said it’s too hard to short STP because it’s difficult to borrow the shares....MORE...MORE