North Coast Solar Stocks

November 29, 2007

Yingli Green Energy Entry

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , — Jason @ 12:00 am

YGE – Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.

Entry Price $27.26  11/29/07

Stop Loss $18.00  Hit 2/20/08

Loss of $9.26 or 34%

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November 19, 2007

Applied Materials to buy Baccini for $330 million

Filed under: AMAT — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 9:53 am

By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
Last update: 9:53 a.m. EST Nov. 19, 2007

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Applied Materials on Monday said it’s buying a privately held Italian firm, Baccini, for $330 million (225 million euros) to boost its presence in making equipment to create solar panels.

The Santa Clara, Calif. firm said the deal will help it become a leading provider of crystalline silicon cell manufacturing solutions to the photovoltaic cell industry.

Mark Pinto, the chief technology officer of Applied Materials (AMAT), told MarketWatch in an interview that the deal expands its presence in the kind of solar panels used on residential roof tops.

Traditionally, Applied Materials strength is in the thin-film technology where it can sell an entire production line of equipment used to make those panels. With crystalline, the company will still sell individual pieces of equipment.

“Crystalline is a more mature piece of technology,” Pinto noted.

He said the deal to acquire Baccini for $330 million will lift cash earnings in the first year and GAAP earnings in the second year.

Baccini’s revenue this year “will be quite a bit higher” than in 2006, he added.

In opening trade, Applied Materials shares slipped 9 cents.

The Italian deal follows one in August, where Applied Materials paid $483 million for HCT Shaping Systems, a Swiss supplier of precision wafering systems for making crystalline silicon.

He said the Italian firm agreed to be acquired because, like other privately held European players in the solar field, it needs more investment capital.

“They are choosing different paths, some IPO, some private equity and some being acquired,” he said of the European players in the solar space. “Most of the companies aren’t doing this to cash out.”

That said, Pinto pointed out that Applied Materials is probably done making these sorts of acquisitions.

“We’re comfortable between what we have developed internally and what we have bought,” he said.
Pinto added that the deal is especially attractive to Applied Materials because of the hopes for Italy as an end market, with comparatively high amounts of sunlight and lesser amounts of alternative energy sources, like hydroelectric or nuclear power.

Scandinavian countries, by contrast, are relatively poor areas for solar demand because of the low amount of sunlight and abundant amount of hydroelectric power, he pointed out.
“(Italy) is a very good end market, and there’s a good business community in Treviso. We’re quite happy about that.”

November 14, 2007

Sunny Day For the Solar Sector

Filed under: CSIQ, ESLR, FSLR, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 5:10 pm

Carl Gutierrez
11.14.07, 5:10 PM ET

Solar stocks were boosted Wednesday by strong earnings and new deals in the pipeline.

Shares of China’s Canadian Solar were up 39.2%, or $4.40, to $15.64 on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in afternoon-trading Wednesday after the company reported surprising third-quarter earnings and a fourth-quarter outlook exceeding Wall Street’s expectations.

Due to strong demand and operational improvements, it lifted its full-year sales outlook by $30 million to $285 million to $295 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial on average had expected sales of $262.3 million.

“Customer demand remains strong and our operational structure is now much leaner,” Chief Executive Shawn Qu said in a statement. “We are positioned for further growth as we demonstrate the successful leveraging of our operating model.”

Canadian Solar’s rise rippled through the solar sector as San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower rose 9.9%, or $10.77, to $119.19 in early-afternoon trading; Marlboro, Mass.-based Evergreen Solar increased 8.4%, or $1.08, to $14.00; and First Solar added 4.1%, or $7.70, to $195.77.

In addition to Canadian Solar’s report and oil’s $2.98 rise to $94.14 a barrel, investors learned that solar-products company Suntech Power Holdings penned two silicon-wafer supply agreements that last through 2016, sending its shares up 9.2%, or $5.47, to $65.17.

Suntech did not disclose the supplier, which it described as a “major Korean conglomerate,” nor the financial terms of the agreement, except to say that the contracts are fixed price.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

November 8, 2007

Energy Conversion Devices Reports First Quarter 2008 Results

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Revenues Increase 73 Percent On Strong Solar Sales – Solar Sales Pipeline Nearly Doubles – Momentum Continues to Build – Expects to Reach Sustainable Profitability in Fiscal Q4

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Nov 08, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (ENER), a leading global manufacturer of solar products, today reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2008, ended September 30, 2007.

Revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 were $47.0 million, up 31 percent from prior-quarter revenues of $36.0 million and up 73 percent from $27.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Revenues from the company’s solar business represented 89 percent of total revenues, or $41.9 million, a 33 percent sequential increase, and a 76 percent increase over the prior-year quarter. The substantial increase in demand for UNI-SOLAR(R) laminates came from growing domestic orders, as well as strong international demand from customers in Italy and Germany.

ECD reported a net loss for the period of $7.6 million, or $0.19 per share, compared to a net loss of $13.1 million, or $0.33 per share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, and $2.3 million, or $0.06 per share, in the year-ago period. First quarter results included $2.5 million, or $0.06 per share, of restructuring charges principally for costs associated with the company’s management transition. Results in the quarter were also impacted by approximately $2.5 million, or $0.06 per share, of preproduction costs for the manufacturing lines and higher selling, general and administrative expenses to support growth in the solar business, as well as lower interest income. ECD ended the quarter with cash and short-term investments of approximately $156 million.

Mark Morelli, ECD’s new president and CEO, commented, “Since joining ECD as CEO in September, I have focused our organization on accelerating the growth and enhancing the profitability of our solar business. We are rapidly transitioning from an R&D orientation to a company with a performance-based culture that is expanding production capacity to meet increasing global demand for our solar laminates. Our primary near-term objective is to improve sales and operating efficiencies as we ramp up significant new production capacity. Our laminates continue to gain momentum in the marketplace as demonstrated by our growing pipeline of business. For example, our supply agreements and commitments for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 exceed our available capacity.”

Key Developments

— In September, Uni-Solar signed an 18-month agreement with EDF Energies
Nouvelles (EDF EN), one of the world’s largest renewable utilities, to
supply up to 30 MW of thin-film PV laminates for large-scale
installations on industrial and commercial buildings.

— Uni-Solar laminates will be installed on the roof of the General Motors
facility in Fontana, California, one of the largest solar power
installations in corporate use in the United States. This project is
the second installation of Uni-Solar laminates for GM after the 1MW
solar installation in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

— Uni-Solar currently has 58MW of annual production capacity, and is
expected to be 148MW by the end of fiscal 2008. The first 30MW line at
Uni-Solar’s Greenville, Michigan facility went online November 1, one
month ahead of schedule.

— Ovonyx, the company’s joint venture, signed a technology and licensing
agreement for phase-change memory with Hynix, one of the world’s
top-tier memory semiconductor suppliers offering DRAM and Flash memory
chips.

(more…)

November 6, 2007

Clinton Proposes $50B Energy Fund To Cope With Global Warming

Filed under: none — Tags: , — Jason @ 12:36 pm

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton called Monday for creation of a $50 billion strategic energy fund coupled with higher fuel efficiency standards.

The package, which she said was the most comprehensive effort to deal with global warming, would be financed in part by $20 billion in “green vehicle bonds.”

“I believe America is ready to take action, ready to break the bonds of the old energy economy and ready to prove that the climate crisis is also one of the greatest economic opportunities in the history of our country,” said Clinton. “It will unleash a wave of innovation, create millions of new jobs, enhance our security and lead the world to a revolution in how we produce and use energy. It will literally be a new beginning for the 21st Century.”

The strategic energy fund would make up about one-third of a 10-year, $150 billion investment called for in the package.

Her program proposes a cap and trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Her plan would cut imports of foreign oil by two-thirds by 2030, a reduction of 10 million barrels a day. That would come through more fuel efficient vehicles, reduced electricity consumption and increased production of alternative fuels, she said.

“It’s the biggest challenge we’ve faced in a generation, a challenge to our economy, our health and our planet,” said Clinton. “It’s time for America to meet it. It is time to get back into the solutions business.”

She estimated her plan would create 5 million new jobs over the next decade, many in rural areas.

Clinton announced her plan at a factory that produces parts for wind turbines, using a cavernous factory with giant turbines as a backdrop for her speech. She said her proposal is a key to her effort to improve the rural economy.

(more…)

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