We are seeing another mixed bag in the solar sector of late. Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) earnings look soft and there was a loss after items. Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL) has a pact with a unit of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR), and GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR) just saw some of its momentum get interrupted due to an analyst downgrade, and First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) shook off a Sell rating. The Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (NYSE: TAN) is also trading up considerably from teh June lows as some of the sector has stabilized.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, (NYSE: STP) is trading lower after an apparent earnings miss, but as shares are already close to 52-week lows the damage looks light. The company reported $0.03 EPS versus $0.09 expected by Thomson Reuters. Revenue was up about 90% at $625.1 million, above estimates of $600.8 million. Total PV shipments were up over 11% sequentially and its gross profit margin was 20.4%. The company decided to accelerate the next phase of capacity expansion and is now looking for 1.8 GW of cell and module capacity by the end of 2010, which should allow it to increase 2010 shipment targets from 1.3GW to 1.5GW. Shares are down only 0.4% at $8.95 pre-market on thin volume and the 52-week range is $8.43 to $18.78.
Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL) has announced that its Trina Solar (U.S.) unit has just signed a sales agreement to supply solar modules to SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE: WFR). Trina Solar expects to supply SunEdison with about 35 megawatts of PV modules over the rest of 2010 and those will be utilized for projects in North America and Europe.
Speaking of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR), those shares are still up 6% to 10% from the lows when insiders started buying shares in late July. At $10.54, the 52-week range is $9.19 to $19.31.
GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR) was downgraded on Tuesday to Market Perform from Outperform over at Raymond James. The stock had performed so well that valuation calls were probably inevitable. That took out all of Monday’s large gains and managed to stop the turnaround momentum that had been building here in this manufacturing equipment maker for solar producers as the stock was hitting 52-week highs after nearly doubling off the 52-week lows. WIth shares back at $7.88, its 52-week range is $4.51 to $8.65 after new highs were hit Monday and Tuesday.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) shook off a SELL rating from a research outfit called Axiom Capital on Monday. Shares actually closed up marginally that day. At $125.86, First Solar’s 52-week trading range is $98.71 to $163.32.
Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (NYSE: TAN) is the pure-play solar ETF and it is up over 20% from the June lows. At $7.63, its 52-week range is $6.02 to $11.47.
JON C. OGG