Friday, November 4, 2016

CEO Of Total, Major Solar Investor: " ...Industry facing 'a new winter'" (SPWR; TOT; CAFD)

French oil & gas super-major Total owns 66% of San Jose based SunPower with 89% of their stake purchased at $23.25 in April 2011. Eight months later TOT bought another 18.6 million shares at $8.80.

The free trading shares closed at $6.40 Thursday, down 10.49%, in sympathy with First Solar's 14.96% hammering. In addition to being the two largest U.S. based solar hardware manufacturers SPWR and FSLR jointly own a yieldco, 8point3 Energy Partners, which is also publicly traded.
We have a few hundred posts on First Solar and maybe one hundred on SunPower, use the 'search blog' box if interested in more background.

A couple other names, Canadian Solar and Sky Solar were down -10.75% (CSIQ) and -12.12% (SKYS) respectively on Thursday.

Here's the headline story from Reuters:

Total's Pouyanne says solar industry facing 'a new winter'
The global renewable solar industry is facing a new crisis due to over-capacity and low demand, Patrick Pouyanne, Chief Executive of French oil and gas giant Total said on Thursday.

Low prices seen in recent projects and a decline in government support in some countries could make investments in the solar power sector unprofitable, Pouyanne told an energy conference.

"The solar industry is facing a new winter," he said, adding that the industry had gone through a similar phase in 2011 and 2012. "Today, the segment is facing a double crisis, a crisis of over capacity and a crisis of low demand."

Pouyanne said he believed long-term prospects looked good but stressed that the industry had to find new ways to make solar energy profitable.

"There were some very aggressive tenders with very low prices. Frankly, when you see prices under 30 cents per kilowatt hour, I don't understand. It does not cover the amortization of any investment," he said....MORE
China Is Dumping Solar Panels On The U.S. Market, First Solar Gets Hit (FSLR)

As a side note, in a move almost as bad as giving your company a rhymey name (see GoPro or FitBit Nov. 3 performance) 8point3 is the average time in minutes it takes for light to arrive on earth from that big burning ball in the sky and the yieldco's ticker symbol, CAFD is the acronym for Cash Available For Distribution.

Good grief. 
Or to quote the philosophers on the deeper lessons implicit in such things:

David St. HubbinsIt's such a fine line between stupid, and uh...
Nigel Tufnel:          Clever.
David St. Hubbins: Yeah, and clever.