North Coast Solar Stocks

December 12, 2007

EMCORE Warms Up To Solar Energy

Filed under: EMKR, ENER, FSLR, HOKU, SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:00 pm

Carl Gutierrez, 12.12.07, 7:00 PM ET

EMCORE’s warming up fast to the high-flying solar energy market.

On Wednesday, the EMCORE Corp. agreed to supply 60 megawatts of solar power systems to be deployed in Ontario, Canada over the next three years.

Shares of the company soared on the news and were exchanging hands at $11.28 in late-afternoon trading, a 19.8%, or $1.86, rise from Tuesday’s closing price.

“Terrestrial solar has been a big focus for the company over the past couple of years,” said CIBC World Markets analyst Sam Dubinsky, “and the major catalyst that investors have been waiting for.”

As the term might suggest, “terrestrial solar” is distinguished from solar panels used on satellites.

Based in Albuquerque, N.M., EMCORE makes semiconductor parts for solar power use, as well as the broadband, fiber, and optics markets.

EMCORE will supply and install turnkey solar power systems in the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario area utilizing its gallium arsenide photovoltaic systems, which concentrate the sun’s rays.

According to Dubinsky, the Ontario deal will bring in $200-$250 million in sales over the three year period. He also expects that to be spread out, rather than weighted at one particular time.

Dubinsky went on to elaborate that EMCORE has historically been considered, and valued as, an optics company. Yet, increasing penetration into the terrestrial solar market could change Wall Street’s perception and valuation of the stock.

Dubinsky noted that solar companies typically trade at over 5 to 6 times 2008 sales, while EMCORE is currently trading near 2.5 times.

“As the solar business ramps up,” Dubinsky said, “we believe that the company’s multiple could expand meaningfully.”

In short, EMCORE can benefit from the investor enthusiasm that First Solar, SunPower, Hoku Scientific, and numerous others, have enjoyed.

Dubinsky continued, saying that terrestrial solar has only accounted for a small fraction of the company’s sales, but meaningful wins have been expected to be announced at the end of 2007 and thereafter.

Wednesday’s announcement comes two days after Energy Conversion Devices announced it would supply SunEdison with solar laminates with up to 17 megawatts of annual generating capacity.

In early-November, First Solar, one of the leaders in the industry, announced new supply deals that would expand its contracted panel volume by a total of 557 megawatts of solar panels, allowing for additional sales of approximately $1 billion, between 2008 and 2012.

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