The State of the Union speech was of course expected to include a plug for alternative energy and the solar energy sector. Solar was credited for bringing tens of thousands of American jobs. President Obama said that while solar gets cheaper every year, he wants to drive the cost down further.
The solar sector has received a further boost from a positive reaction from the MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) earnings report.
MEMC reported earnings that were ahead of estimates. Earnings were $0.08 per share, versus a breakeven consensus, while revenue fell almost 9% to $704.3 million. Though sales were down, the report was not as bad as expected, as the consensus target was almost $669 million.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) are not only not selling off after the State of the Union speech, they are trading higher. The solar sector has performed well in 2013, and it has continued to rise after Citigroup raised its rating on the sector of late, noting that prices have finally hit their trough.
Shares of First Solar were already up 9.3% in 2013, ahead of the State of the Union speech. Now shares are indicated up by yet another 1%, at just over $34. The 52-week range is $11.43 to $45.20. SunPower shares were up a whopping 72% ahead of the speech, and this stock is up another 2% to $9.90, against a 52-week range of $3.71 to $10.15.