Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Hidden Potential Problem for Solar ETF's (beside all the others) TAN; KWT

From MarketWatch:
One Problem For Solar ETFs No One Is Talking About
The ugly fate of solar stocks and the corresponding ETFs has been lamented plenty of times in recent months. 

Chinese solar companies are not only cannibalizing each other with low prices, they're doing the same to their U.S. rivals. Not to mention, U.S. solar companies have been unable to flourish despite President Obama being an unabashed fan of alternative energy. 

Factor in the slashed solar subsidies in Europe against the backdrop of the Euro Zone's sovereign debt crisis and it's no wonder the Guggenheim Solar ETF TAN -0.24% is down 71.1% in the past year. The rival Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF KWT +2.20% is off 72.5% over the same time frame. 

There's another issue to be aware of with TAN and KWT and it involves First Solar FSLR +2.03% . First Solar, the largest U.S. maker of solar panels, is a member of the S&P 500, believe it or not. It entered the broad market index in October 2009. At this point, it appears doubtful that the stock will be able to celebrate three yeas as an S&P 500 constituent. 

First Solar's current flirtation with $18 means the stock is trading below its 2006 IPO price of $20. It also means the company has a market cap of $1.62 billion. That's good for the second-lowest market cap in the S&P 500. Only Supervalu SVU -1.79% has a lower market cap among S&P 500 components. 

Guess what's happening to Supervalu? It will be expelled from the S&P 500 when Philips 66, the soon-to-be refining spinoff of ConocoPhillips COP +1.27% , commences trading on May 1. That means unless First Solar shares start rallying soon or another S&P 500 member falls off a cliff, the stock is next in line to be bounced from the S&P 500....MORE