Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Jim Chanos Trashes Solar Energy as ‘Hot Air’" (FSLR)

First Solar is trading at $121.10, down $2.79.
On April 14th it was "Jim Chanos (!) Spanks First Solar (!) FSLR)"

Maybe Jim is just crabby about his China short.
Regardless, he is not someone you want trashing your stock. FSLR is trading down $3.23 at $141.50 after trading as low as $137.18.
From Tech Trader Daily:
FSLR Down On Chanos Comments, Exec Resignation

Shares of First Solar (FSLR) are down 4% at $139.15 after short-seller Jim Chanos made negative comments about the company during an interview on CNBC this morning....
So he's been right to the tune of 13% since he went public with his short. Here's the latest via Deal Journal:
Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates (FYI — that’s Greek for “cynic”) and famed for shorting Enron took to the stage to talk about why he’s short green energy.

In a presentation called “Alternative Energy: Does Solar + Wind = Hot Air?” Chanos joked he would “upset the greenies,” by arguing that while there’s a lot of enthusiasm about green energy, the companies in the sector today don’t yet solve those problems.

Wind and solar are “not capable” of real cost-effective ways of meeting energy demands, he says. “Wind and solar are not efficient.”

As for job growth, he says that the boom of green jobs could be overblown, as most of the jobs generated are construction jobs, not in technology. “Put your hand on your wallet,” he says, as many of the green jobs are merely putting people back to work who were employed in housing....MORE
See also:

May 4, 2011 
First Solar Analyst Roundup: Auriga, Brigantine, Cowen, Chanos (FSLR)

Feb. 22, 2010 
Jim Chanos' "China is Dubai Times 1000" May be a Losing Bet

I have a lot of respect for Chanos. His work on Enron was exactly right and very brave, especially when you consider the political, media and investment giants who backed the company. Hell, folks as diverse as Paul Krugman, NASA's Jim Hansen, Lawrence Lindsey and Bill Kristol took the Crooked E's payola. Fortune magazine called ENE "The most innovative company in America" for six years running. Chanos stood up and said the emporer has no clothes, and put his money where his mouth was.

On the other hand going up against the Chinese government could make you broke before you're proven right....
Dec. 27, 2010
Outlook 2011 & the Next Decade: Is The Smart Money Right About China?
...The thing is, you have to be correct about both the doom and the timing. If you are predicting the end of the world it is usually best to make the occurence far enough into the future that your audience is either dead or demented on the appointed date.

If you insist on a call that even your clients with alzheimers can remember you have to do serious analysis and consider the millions of moving parts that go into a dynamic system.

In the case of China the government can delay the day of reckoning long enough to really hurt the time adjusted returns of the shorts.

If you have a situation that will fall 30% and it happens in a year you've put up some professional level numbers.

If it takes two years, your annualized gain is down to 14.5% and your 2 and 20 are at risk....