Solar Stock Comparative Market Review
Althoughthe market has performed rather well, a review of the three month, sixmonth and year to date performances of the Green Market’s solar stock(STP, CSIQ, FSLR, SPWRA and ESLR) reveals that The Green Market’s solarpicks have yielded returns which are on average considerably betterthan the market.
Suntech Power (STP)has shown handsome advances over the last three months. On 11 May STPclosed at $16.44 on 10 August it closed at $18.98. Over the last threemonths the stock has kept pace with the markets for a gain of $2.54 or10.89 percent. STP is up 90 percent over the last six months and 55percent since January.
Suntech Power, already China’s largestsolar panel maker, is improving its position with the announcement thatit is collaborating with China Huadian New Energy Development Co. Thiscould translate into solid earnings going forward and Suntech Power’searning reports are scheduled for Aug. 20 and they could prove to be abonanza for solar investors.
Canadian Solar (CSIQ)is one of Solar’s shining stars so far this year. On 11 May CSIQ closedat $8.35 on 10 August closed at $19.33. During this period itoutperformed the market with an increase of $10.98 or 124.55 percent.CSIQis is up 269 percent over the last six months and almost 200percent since January. CSIQ can expect a bright future with recentstrong earnings and Monday’s announcement that Canadian Solar isentering into broad strategic cooperation with one of China’s largestpower generation companies (Guodian Power Development Co., Ltd).Together they will design, invest, build, operate and maintain PV powerplants in China.
SunPower Corp. (SPWRA)has not performed as well as some other solar firms but strong Q2earnings numbers energized the stock and going forward, SPWRA is poisedto grow. Over the last three months, the stock has gained $3.21 or11.07 percent (On 11 May SPWRA closed at $27.69 and on 10 August closedat $30.90). With the exception of the period between the first and thetwenty-first of July SPWRA has kept pace with the markets. On July 24On July 24, SunPower Corp. reported Q2 earnings well above expectationsand SPWRA went up almost 30% for the day and closed the week almost 40%higher. SPWRA is down 11 percent over the last six months and 17percent for the year.
SunPower’s revenues rose 39% year-over-year to $298 million and the company also issued upside guidance for this fiscal year.
Highermodule sales have enabled SunPower to cut its inventory days nearly inhalf, thereby reducing inventory risk. SunPower will also benefit fromfunding for cheaper roof-top installations of solar panels. USgovernment subsidies and a favourable regulatory environment for Solarshould help SunPower do well as its brand and technology has higherexposure to the U.S. solar market than its competitors. SPWRA warrantsa strong position.
With highs above $300, First Solar (FSLR)has provided some investors with legendary returns, but this solarleader’s stock has not fared well lately. On 11 May FLSR closed at$193.63 on 10 August closed at $147.34 under performing the market fora loss of $47.29 or 24.28 percent. About even over the last six monthsand up 5 percent since January.
However, on July 30, First Solar,the world’s largest solar panel maker announced its second-quartersales and earnings had doubled easily beating consensus Streetestimates.
Evergreen Solar (ESLR)is by far the most troubled of The Green Market’s stock picks. On 11May ESLR closed at $2.31 and three months later on 10 August it closedat $2.09. With the exception of a spike on June 11, ESLR consistentlyunder performed the market and is down $0.22 or 11.26 percent over thelast three months. However, ESLR is up 25 percent over the last sixmonths but down 35 percent since January.
On July 30 EvergreenSolar reported second-quarter revenues of $63.8 million compared to$55.8 million for the first quarter of 2009. However the gross marginsare way below the second quarter of 2008. The company reported a netloss of 11 cents per share in Q2, which is at least in part due toongoing charges associated with the closure of its Marlboro pilotfacility and start-up costs of its Midland facility.
As reviewedabove, the Dow, NASDAQ and the S&P provided a 10.88 percent returnover the previous three months, a 21.34 percent increase over theprevious six months and a 13.22 percent return since January. The Greenmarket’s solar stock has averaged a 22.08 percent increase over 3months, 74. 60 percent increase over six months and 41.60 percentincrease since January.
Taken as a whole, the numbers speak for themselves, The Green Market’s solar stock is handily beating the market.
Richard Matthews is a consultant, sustainable investor, writer and owner of The Green Market Oracle, a leading sustainable business blog that covers the convergence of sustainable capitalism and the global environment.The Green Market is one of the most comprehensive resources for information and tools on sustainability. Follow The Green Market's twitter feed and see the Facebook Fan Page. Richard is a contributor to more than 50 publications. Find him on Facebook and Linkedin.
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