The possible nuclear power reactor meltdown in Japan is killing anything tied to nuclear energy today. As with most events, there is generally a silver lining elsewhere. It just so happens that the solar power lobby may have been given its greatest gift ever in the tragedy unfolding in Japan.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) just opened up 4.8% at $146.50; SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWRA) is up 4.2% at $14.87; Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) is up 5% at $8.46; LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) is up 5.2% at $11.25; JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) is up 5.4% at $6.64; Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is up 3.3% at $11.42; and GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR) is up 4.9% at $10.21.
Two laggards in the sector are Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENER) and MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR). Energy Conversion is up 4% at $2.58 and MEMC is up 8.3% at $13.05.
Guggenheim Solar (NYSE: TAN) is up 5.8% at $7.80.
It is hard to think solely about the winners when you see the death toll estimates now getting closer to 10,000 and when you see the economic impact that will hurt a nation that has already seen two dead decades.
The logic behind this move is a rather easy argument. If solar power plants have an accident, they tend not to pose risks to civilization.
JON C. OGG