North Coast Solar Stocks

November 18, 2009

Solarfun Q3 profit beats, sees higher Q4 shipments

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, SOLF — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:36 am

Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:36am EST

* Q3 income/ADS $0.37

* Q3 revenue $144.6 mln

* Sees higher Q4 shipments

* Shares up 8 percent

By Arup Roychoudhury

BANGALORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Chinese photovoltaic cell maker Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd (SOLF) reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts estimates, helped by higher shipment volumes, sending its shares up 8 percent.

Solarfun also forecast fourth-quarter shipments of about 110 megawatts (MW), up 7 percent sequentially. It expects module processing services to account for about 20 percent of the total shipments.

“It was a good quarter, aided by really strong margins… going forward they are guiding towards a pretty strong fourth quarter and first quarter,” Simmons and Co International analyst Burt Chao said by phone.

On a conference call with analysts, company executives said they had good visibility on the key German market for the quarter and that shipments were supposed to rise there too.

Demand for photovoltaic solar modules that turn sunlight into electricity has taken a hit because of the global financial crisis and an oversupply of cells and modules.

Another worry for solar companies is when and by how much will the Germany government cut aid to its solar industry, the world’s top market for solar products.

Analyst Chao said a lot of how Solarfun’s German business grew depended on government policies there.

“Other than that I would think their outlook is pretty positive right now and that they are expanding to other markets in case the German market is to slow down,” he added.

(more…)

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China Sunergy Announces Financial Results for the Third Quarter of 2009

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:06 am

Third Quarter Revenues of US$80.1 million; Achieves Upper Range of Guidance with 54.4 MW in Shipments; Gross Margin Improves to 10.2%; GAAP Net Income of $7.8 million

6:06 am EST, Wednesday November 18, 2009

NANJING, China, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), (“China Sunergy” or the “Company”) a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today its financial results for the third quarter of 2009.

Third Quarter Financial Results

— Revenues were US$80.1 million, a 14.3% increase compared to the second quarter of 2009. Revenues generated from solar cell sales were US$68.5 million, representing a 25.7% increase compared to the second quarter of 2009.
— Gross profit was US$8.2 million for the third quarter, compared to gross profit of US$6.8 million during the second quarter of 2009. Accordingly, gross margin was 10.2%, slightly above the 9.7% reported during the second quarter of 2009.
— GAAP net income was US$7.8 million. Adjusted non-GAAP net loss was US$1.3 million, which excludes share-based compensation and the change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives. This compares to non-GAAP net income of US$1.2 million in the second quarter of 2009.
— GAAP net income per ADS was US$0.20 on basic basis and US$0.19 on diluted basis. Adjusted non-GAAP net loss per ADS was US$0.03 on both basic and diluted basis, which excludes share-based compensation and the change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives, compared to a non-GAAP net income of US$0.03 per ADS in the second quarter of 2009.
— Inventory as of September 30, 2009 was $32.0 million, up from $25.0 million as of June 30, 2009. Inventory write-down was $3.3 million, compared to $2.9 million in the second quarter of 2009.
— Operating cash flow in the third quarter was negative US$16.5 million, compared with positive $19.5 million in the second quarter of 2009. As of September 30, 2009, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of US$113.4 million

Please refer to “Reconciliation Tables of GAAP to adjusted Non-GAAP Figures” at the end of this press release.

Technology Development and Operational Highlights

— Shipments in the third quarter amounted to approximately 54.4 MW, representing a 31.1% increase sequentially and a 59.5% increase on a year-over-year basis.
— Utilizing the new technology, China Sunergy has developed a mono-crystalline high efficiency P-type solar cell with target conversion efficiency of over 19%. A test conducted in the third quarter by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany has shown the conversion efficiency of 19.04%.
— China Sunergy entered into a series of sales contracts with NUE PTY Ltd, a leading Australian photovoltaic firm. China Sunergy expects to ship up to a total of 10MW of OEM sub-contracted monocrystalline solar modules, to NU Energy, with full delivery scheduled to be completed by early 2010.
— The Company furthered this strategy by entering into a framework agreement related to the delivery of China Sunergy solar products to Opsun Technologies, Inc., a Canadian photovoltaic firm between 2009 and 2014. The framework agreement aims both to facilitate sales of up to 100MW of China Sunergy’s existing of solar cells and modules while enhancing the development of specialized solar cells for future projects.

Commenting on the results, Dr. Allen Wang, CEO of China Sunergy, said:

“We have effectively implemented strategies to benefit from the improved market for our solar products, primarily by building demand channels among new clients and within existing relationships. As a result, we have achieved the upper range of our previously released shipment guidance for the quarter, and an improvement in our gross margin. Although challenges remain given the still uncertain long-term demand, China Sunergy is consistently improving the scope and technological leadership of our products to meet our clients’ needs, and we expect this trend to continue in the coming quarters.”

(more…)

October 23, 2009

China Sunergy and Canadian Firm Opsun Technologies Sign Solar Products Framework Agreement

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:30 am

8:30 am EDT, Friday October 23, 2009

NANJING, China, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, and Opsun Technologies, Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of solar panels, mounting systems and solar concentrators (“Opsun”), have entered into a framework agreement related to the delivery of China Sunergy solar products to Opsun between 2009 and 2014.

The framework agreement aims to leverage the existing relationship between the firms to facilitate sales of China Sunergy’s existing solar cell products while enhancing the development of specialized solar cells for future projects. The agreement encompasses the delivery of 100MW of solar cells and solar modules to Opsun, with the solar modules being provided through OEM arrangements.

Opsun will integrate China Sunergy’s advanced solar cell technology into their PV Panel, Structural PV modules and 3X Concentrated modules, sales of which will initially be focused in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec as well as the north-eastern United States. As part of the developmental aspect of the agreement, China Sunergy will enhance existing solar cell technology based on Opsun’s specifications, allowing the delivery of specialized solar products directly to Opsun. These solar products will be incorporated into Opsun’s advanced ‘3 Suns’ photovoltaic concentrator systems, demonstrating China Sunergy’s ability to deliver customized solutions to clients.

“The relationship with Opsun has already proven to be a valuable one for China Sunergy, and we look forward to deepening our cooperation by working together to develop advanced solar products in the coming years,” stated Mr. Allen Wang, Director and Chief Executive Officer of China Sunergy. “Opsun is an innovative company offering unique and dynamic products, and we anticipate our relationship leading to continued success at the front-line of the Canadian solar sector.”

Raymond Gilbert, Opsun’s Chairman, commented, “Opsun is delighted to have strengthened our partnership with China Sunergy, a well-known player in the photovoltaic field and a leading solar cell producer. As Opsun integrates CSUN’s components into our new product lines, we will be in a stronger position to rapidly become a significant player in North America’s fast growing photovoltaic market.”

About Opsun Technologies, Inc.:

Opsun aims to develop and manufacture a line of solar products that minimizes the total cost of solar systems by increasing efficiency, reducing material costs and facilitating installation on rooftops and solar farms. Founded in 2005, Opsun Technologies is composed of a team of PhDs, Masters in Science, engineers and technical people. Opsun’s management team has more than 35 years of experience in service, manufacturing and energy corporations. Opsun’s line of products, which has been developed to be installed in cold climates with snow and ice rain, features unique and innovative patented technologies and concepts. Opsun is participating in the Ontario Feed-In Tariff program.

October 16, 2009

Extension of China Sunergy’s Injunction Against REC Granted by Norwegian Court

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 9:25 am

9:25 am EDT, Friday October 16, 2009

NANJING, China, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today that the Court in Norway has granted an extension of the injunction against REC Wafer Norway AS relating to certain bank guarantees.

On October 15, 2009, the injunction against REC Wafer Norway AS previously granted by the Salten District Court in Norway would have expired. China Sunergy therefore applied for an extension of the injunction. At the same time, China Sunergy served a writ upon REC Wafer Norway AS claiming that REC Wafer Norway AS is not, and has never been, a party to the contract entered into between REC Sitec AS and China Sunergy.

On October 14, 2009, the court ruled that the injunction shall remain in force until the issue covered by the writ is resolved. In the ruling, the court found that it is “sufficiently proven probable that the REC has behaved in a manner that gives rise to a fear that the prosecution or the implementation of the claim will be made significantly more difficult [for China Sunergy] without the temporary court order.”

In addition, the court found it “proven probable that China Sunergy has the right to resist the merger between REC SiTech and REC Scanwafer. It is specifically stated in the agreement that no third party has any rights under the agreement.” Further, the court stated “[t]here is nothing indicating a payment default in this case.”

October 13, 2009

China Sunergy Files Petition for REC Wafer Injunction Extension and Serves Legal Writ in Norway

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:30 am

7:30 am EDT, Tuesday October 13, 2009

NANJING, China, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has delivered a petition for an extension of the existing injunction related to the REC Wafer situation to the Norwegian court, as well as filing a legal writ regarding the legal status of REC Wafer Norway AS as a rightful party to any existing contract.

On September 11th, 2009 China Sunergy obtained an injunction at a district court in Norway against REC Wafer Norway AS, prohibiting REC from drawing on certain bank guarantees. The current injunction lasts until October 15th, 2009 and China Sunergy has now delivered a petition for an extension to the Norwegian court.

Along with the petition, China Sunergy has served a writ at the same court in Norway claiming that REC Wafer Norway AS is not, and has never been, a party to the contract entered into between China Sunergy and the dissolved company REC SiTech AS. Consequently REC Wafer Norway AS is not, and has never been, entitled to claim any position according to the terminated contract.

The current actions relate back to September 9th, 2009, when REC Wafer Norway AS terminated the Agreement for the Supply of Monocrystalline Silicon Ingots and/or Wafers entered into between China Sunergy and the dissolved company REC SiTech AS in 2008. At that time, REC Wafer Norway AS demanded payment according to three on-demand bank guarantees, for a total of USD 50 million, issued by Nordea Bank Norge ASA on behalf of China Sunergy as principal and three Chinese banks as sub-guarantors. China Sunergy disputes REC Wafer Norway AS’ position as beneficiary to the bank guarantees as well as their position as a party to the contract. This view is supported by China Sunergy’s legal counsel in Norway and England.

September 29, 2009

China Sunergy Provides Additional Details Regarding REC Wafer Injunction Granted in Norway

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:30 am

Tuesday September 29, 2009, 8:30 am EDT

NANJING, China, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has provided additional insight regarding the injunction granted by the Salten District Court in Norway related to the ongoing proceedings with REC Wafer.

On September 11, 2009 the Norwegian court granted a preliminary injunction, based on China Sunergy’s petition, prohibiting REC Wafer Norway AS from drawing on the USD50 million in bank guarantees. One of the key reasons for this decision is the fact that the original party to the contract, REC SITECH AS, no longer exists given its merger with REC ScanWafer AS, which later changed its name to REC Wafer Norway AS after the merger. China Sunergy was never informed of this merger despite the contractual obligations of REC to do so prior to any such action.

The court refers in particular to the fact that it has been impossible for China Sunergy to extend the guarantees. The reason for this is that the original party to the contract and supplier has merged with another company, namely REC Wafer. The court has not found evidence that Nordea Bank has consented to the merger and thus has consented to the change to the parties on the rights side. Despite the fact that REC SiTech AS never informed China Sunergy of its dissolution after the merger, even though the merger plans had come far by the time the contract was entered into, the inability of China Sunergy to extend the guarantees in the name of REC SiTech AS has been stated as a basis for REC Wafer’s current claims. The preliminary injunction inhibits REC Wafer’s ability to draw on the bank guarantees before the legal situation is clarified.

Salten District Court has also noted that there must be a breach of contract on the part of China Sunergy in order for REC Wafer to be able to draw on the guarantees. There have been no wafer shipments from REC Wafer to China Sunergy, and the court has found that REC Wafer has not pleaded that any fundamental breach of the contract with China Sunergy exists. The court states that the conditions for drawing on the guarantee are therefore not present.

The preliminary injunction is in effect until October 15th, 2009. The court has stated that China Sunergy and REC Wafer should clarify the legal issues that the merger has created by that time.

September 11, 2009

China Sunergy Initiates Legal Proceedings Related to REC Supply Agreement

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:30 am

Friday September 11, 2009, 7:30 am EDT

NANJING, China, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today that it has initiated legal action with respect to bank guarantees related to its June 2008 supply agreement with REC, under which REC would start its performance from Jan 1, 2009 onwards.

In response to China Sunergy’s filing, the court in China has issued a ruling and served to the China representative office of Nordea Bank, and the related Chinese banks respectively, suspending the payment of an aggregate amount of USD50 million in bank guarantees.

Also, on September 11, the local court in Norway granted an injunction with respect to the payment with an aggregate amount of USD50 million in bank guarantees.

The court in China issued the ruling on the basis, among other things, that REC SITECH AS, the original beneficiary of the USD50 million bank guarantees, was legally dissolved in January, 2009, the starting period of its performance of the agreement. According to the guarantees as issued, the right to claim payment cannot be transferred, meaning no other entity, including REC Wafer, can call upon bank guarantees on behalf of REC SITECH AS.

Although the intended dissolution of REC SITECH AS was planned and approved prior to its signing of the supply agreement, REC SITECH AS neither officially notified China Sunergy of its intended dissolution nor sought China Sunergy’s prior written consent in the required manner as of today. Until very recently, REC continued to claim that REC Wafer Norway was a change of name of REC SITECH AS. To date, REC has not made any shipments of wafer to China Sunergy under the agreement.

China Sunergy initiated talks with REC in good faith in 2009, seeking a mutually agreeable solution to the challenging market situation and a strong and sustainable long-term partnership. The company made notable concessions to REC, including new product mix and higher purchasing volume. While both parties were negotiating the remaining few key terms of an amendment to the contract, REC suddenly and unilaterally terminated the agreement.

August 31, 2009

Chinese Solar Stocks Slide After Big Shanghai Tumble

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, JASO, LDK, SOL, STP, YGE — Tags: , , — Jason @ 11:31 am

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Shares of China-based solar stocks are down across the board today after the Shanghai stock market fell 6.7% overnight on fears that the country’s economic growth could slow due to a slowdown in lending growth. Acording to Bloomberg, former Morgan Stanley Asian economist Andy Xie said the China market could drop another 25%, on top of a 22% slide in August.

Among the China-based solar names:

* JA Solar (JASO) is down 14 cents, or 3.9%, to $3.48.
* LDK Solar (LDK) is down 32 cents, or 3.5%, to $8.92.
* China Sunergy (CSUN) is down 29 cents, or 6.3%, to $4.29.
* Suntech (STP) is down 78 cents, or 5.2%, to $14.27.
* Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is down 60 cents, or 4%, to $14.59.
* Yingli Green Energy (YGE) is down 46 cents, or 4.2%, to $10.56.
* ReneSola (SOL) is down 9 cents, or 1.6%, to $5.64.

China Sunergy Signs 10MW of Sales Contracts With Australian Photovoltaic Firm

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:30 am

Agreement Continues China Sunergy’s Expansion into New Solar Markets

Monday August 31, 2009, 8:30 am EDT

NANJING, China, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, today announced that it has signed a series of sales contracts with NUE PTY Ltd (“NU Energy”), a photovoltaic firm based in Victoria, Australia.

China Sunergy expects to ship up to a total of 10MW of monocrystalline solar modules, which are manufactured under sub-contracted OEM arrangement, to NU Energy, with partial shipments having begun in June 2009 and the full delivery under these contracts scheduled to be completed by early 2010 with ongoing contracts anticipated.

“Australia represents another new market for China Sunergy, and our successful signing of multiple sales agreements with this new customer is a positive indication of our ability to deliver high-quality solar power products globally,” commented Dr. Ruennsheng Allen Wang, Director and CEO of China Sunergy. “Our dedicated sales efforts continue to generate results, both domestically and internationally, as we look to further diversify our sales channels.”

NU Energy Chief Executive Officer Simon Schauble said, “NU Energy is one of Australia’s largest solar companies, and these orders, totalling 10MW, show the strong confidence we have in our ongoing partnership with China Sunergy.”

August 28, 2009

China Sunergy to Enter Into Renegotiation With REC for the Long Term Supply Contract

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 3:04 pm

Friday August 28, 2009, 3:04 pm EDT

NANJING, China, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today that it has entered into the renegotiation with the counter-party regarding to a June, 2008 supply agreement signed with REC SiTech AS.

On June 25, 2008, China Sunergy entered into a Standard Agreement for the Supply of Monocrystalline Silicon Ingots and/or Wafers with the European wafer provider REC SiTech As for the high quality supply of monocrystalline 156- millimeter wafers for seven years from 2009 through 2015. It has been revealed that REC SiTech As now is dissolved as a result of a merger early this year.

As the polysilicon supply market has changed dramatically since the fourth quarter of 2008, key raw material suppliers such as REC have indicated the renegotiation of supply agreements with their respective customers and against this background, China Sunergy has entered into the renegotiation with its counter-party in respect to the overall arrangement of the supply agreement, with the good faith to reach a mutually beneficial agreement between both parties.

August 27, 2009

Solar stocks mixed on earnings news

Filed under: CSUN, ENER, FSLR, SRE, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 4:07 pm

Solar stocks mixed as more solar companies post results, analysts warn of near-term challenges

Thursday August 27, 2009, 4:07 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Solar stocks were mixed on Thursday as two solar companies reported quarterly results and analysts raised concerns about near-term challenges for solar companies.

Solar panel product maker Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ENER) posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss, driven by hefty one-time charges and a sharp drop in demand for solar products as commercial construction declined, building owners deferred reroofing projects and project financing constraints continued.

China Sunergy Co. Ltd. (CSUN) said its second-quarter profit fell 43 percent but stronger shipments pushed results beyond analyst expectations.

Solar companies have been pummeled by industry-wide price cuts for solar panels, driven by an oversupply of product, scaled-back demand and the falling price of polysilicon, a key raw ingredient.

Credit Suisse analyst Satya Kumar cut his price target for Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP) to $12.50 from $16.50, citing the solar power company’s sharp second-quarter profit drop. The company also estimated a 15 percent to 20 percent decline in average selling price in the third quarter.

Kumar said he prefers shares of Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) over Suntech, given Trina’s stronger growth in shipments and lower polysilicon to panel cost structure. Kumar rates Suntech “Neutral.”

FBR Capital Markets analyst Mehdi Hosseini said that even First Solar (FSLR), the nation’s largest solar panel maker and industry leader, faces a number of challenges in the near-term, namely, the delayed construction of the Sempra (SRE) 48-MW project, uncertainties around the timing of financing for the Blythe and Tristate projects and the recent departure of the company’s executive vice president of global marketing and business development. The company also needs to find a replacement for Mike Ahearn, the company’s current CEO who announced earlier this year he is stepping down.

“Recent trends/checks support our thesis that…downside risks have yet to be fully dialed into the stock,” Hosseini said. “We caution investors against unrealistic expectations associated with First Solar over the past year.”

Hosseini rates the company “Underperform” with a price target of $110. Shares of First Solar fell $1.96, or 1.6 percent, to $124.76.

China Sunergy Announces Financial Results for the Second Quarter Of 2009

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 7:35 am

Second Quarter Revenues of US$70.1 million; 41.5MW in Shipments Exceeds Guidance; Gross Margin Improves to 9.7%; GAAP Net Income of $1.7 million

Thursday August 27, 2009, 7:35 am EDT

NANJING, China, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), (“China Sunergy” or the “Company”) a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today its financial results for the second quarter of 2009.

Second Quarter Financial Results
— Revenues were US$70.1 million, an 89.5% increase compared to the first quarter of 2009. Revenues generated from solar cell sales were US$54.5 million, representing a 58.4% increase compared to the first quarter of 2009.
— Gross profit was US$6.8 million for the second quarter, compared to gross loss of US$8.8 million during the first quarter of 2009. Accordingly, gross margin was 9.7%, compared to negative 23.7% during the first quarter of 2009.
— GAAP net income was US$1.7 million. Adjusted non-GAAP net income was US$1.2 million, which excludes share-based compensation and the change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives. This compares to non-GAAP net loss of US$13.2 million in the first quarter of 2009.
— GAAP net income per ADS was US$0.04 on both basic and diluted basis. Adjusted non-GAAP net income per ADS was US$0.03 on both basic and diluted basis, which excludes share-based compensation and the change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of US$0.33 per ADS in the first quarter of 2009.
— Inventory as of June 30, 2009 was $25.0 million, down from $29.6 million as of March 31, 2009. Inventory write-down was $2.9 million, compared to $8.0 million in the first quarter of 2009.
— Operating cash flow in the second quarter was positive US$19.5 million, compared with positive $7.9 million in the first quarter of 2009.
— During the second quarter of 2009, China Sunergy continued to conduct open market repurchases of its 4.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013, repurchasing US$4 million aggregate principal amount of the convertible notes for a total cash consideration of US$1.8 million. As a result, China Sunergy realized a net gain of US$2.2 million. As of the end of the second quarter of 2009, the convertible bond balance was reduced to US$44 million.

Please refer to “Reconciliation Tables of GAAP to adjusted Non-GAAP Figures” at the end of this press release.

Operational Highlights
— Shipments in the second quarter amounted to approximately 41.5MW, representing a 73.6% increase sequentially and an 18.6% increase on a year-over-year basis, due to more aggressive pricing, successful efforts to work in a more integrated fashion with existing clients, and expansion into new markets.
— Shipments of high efficiency cells (defined as any cells with a conversion efficiency rate of over 17%) during the second quarter of 2009 amounted to 18.6MW, or 44.8% of total solar cell shipments, compared with 8.9MW, or 37.2% of total solar cell shipments, during the first quarter of 2009.
— The Company further expanded its international business through the signing of a framework agreement and sales contract with Renergies Italia S.p.A, a manufacturer of solar modules based in Urbisaglia, Italy. The Company also entered into a 35MW solar photovoltaic products framework agreement, and a 5MW solar photovoltaic products sales contract based on the framework agreement, with Global Service LTM in Taiwan for a South Korean downstream customer.
— Over the past quarters, at the request of customers China Sunergy has begun to supply modules produced with China Sunergy solar cells, under OEM agreements. While the Company is not producing these modules internally and there has been limited shipment volume, the Company expects these OEM module agreements to become accretive to gross margin levels as contract volumes increase.

Commenting on the results, Dr. Allen Wang, CEO of China Sunergy, said:

“After two quarters of unfavorable economic conditions, we are pleased that the decisive action we took earlier in the year has led to second quarter results which meet or exceed our expectations. We have experienced steady monthly progress among operational and financial level improvements, due to our effective financial and inventory management, a focus on developing existing and new market opportunities and continued dedication to our leading solar technologies. We returned to profitability during the quarter and will continue to work diligently to position ourselves for profitable growth within a still challenging marketplace.”

(more…)

August 21, 2009

Jefferies Turns Cautious; Downgrades Many Stocks

Filed under: ASTI, CSUN, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SOLF, SPWR, STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 9:31 am

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Jefferies & Co. analyst Paul Clegg this morning turned cautious on the solar sector, slicing his ratings on many companies in the sector.

A key issue, Clegg writes in a research note, is that the downward spiral in pricing is likely to continue. “While accompanied by reduced production costs, we believe this could lead to weaker-than-expected 2010 ests and concerns about value destruction in the sector,” he writes. ” In our view, liberal Chinese lending practices encourage over-production and capacity expansions in a market that needs rationalization.”

Clegg concedes that falling prices bring the market closer to grid parity, but he adds that the slide could also trigger political backlash to government incentives, as European PV makers get hurt by Chinese competition with the help of European tax-payer and rate-payer money. While end markets are showing signs of improvement, he adds, “they are slow and do not appear ready to support the levels of volume production being planned for 2010.”

Clegg adds that even if falling silicon prices help solar companies maintain unit gross margins, “lower ASPs make them more dependent on chasing volumes to support the marketing and distribution networks necessary to drive growth.”

The Jefferies analyst sees ASPs down 20%-25% by Q4 from Q2, with another 15%-20% drop by Q4 2010.

Here’s a rundown on his downgrades today:

* Ascent Solar (ASTI): To Underperform from Hold.
* China Sunergy (CSUN): To Underperform from Hold.
* Energy Conversion Devices (ENER): To Underperform from Hold.
* Evergreen Solar (ESLR): To Underperform from Buy.
* First Solar (FSLR): To Hold from Buy.
* Solarfun (SOLF): To Underperform from Hold.
* SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB): To Hold from Buy.
* Suntech (STP): To Underperform from Hold.
* MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR): Maintains Buy rating.

Jefferies downgrades 8 solar companies on pricing, other concerns

Filed under: ASTI, CSUN, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SOLF, SPWR, STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:47 am

Friday August 21, 2009, 8:47 am EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — Jefferies & Co. lowered its ratings on eight solar companies Friday, citing numerous risks that could play out in the coming months, including a continuation of falling prices.

In reports to clients, Jefferies noted that a continued downward spiral in pricing, while accompanied by lower production costs, may lead to weaker-than-expected estimates for 2010 and concerns about value destruction in the solar sector.

“Liberal Chinese lending practices encourage overproduction and capacity expansions in a market that needs rationalization, in our view,” Jefferies analyst Paul Clegg said.

Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Buy.” Jefferies also lowered its price target to $1 from $3. Jefferies said Evergreen’s low silicon usage advantage has been obscured by high manufacturing costs and pricey silicon contracts.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) was downgraded to “Hold” from “Buy.” Jefferies also lowered its price target to $130 from $200. It noted, however, that it expects First Solar’s cost structure to remain the lowest in the industry even if silicon prices continue to decline.

Solarfun Power Holdings Co. (SOLF) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and the price target was cut to $4 from $6.

Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ENER) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and the firm set a price target of $8. Jefferies noted Energy Conversion has a unique product and market niche, but analysts remain concerned about weak demand.

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (ASTI) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold.” Jefferies’ said its $4 price target reflects increased investor risk tolerance.

China Sunenergy Co. Ltd. (CSUN) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and trimmed its price target to $3.50 from $4. “Despite strong cell technology and a stable liquidity position, we believe CSUN’s strategic position in only one segment of the value chain could become a more notable disadvantage in an increasingly competitive environment,” Jefferies noted.

SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB) was downgraded to “Hold” from “Buy” and its price target was lowered to $30 from $35. Jefferies said SunPower’s diverse and flexible business model bodes well for its market-share prospects in a recovery.

Suntech Power Holdings (STP) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and its price target was trimmed to $12 from $14. “STP is positioned to generate rapid growth in key (markets) and to remain a leader on cost and quality,” Jefferies said.

In another report, Jefferies maintained its “Buy” rating on MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR). The company’s “very strong balance sheet” positions it well “as a survivor and potential consolidator,” analysts said.

July 28, 2009

China’s Solar Ambitions Heat Up

Filed under: CSUN, JASO, SOL, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:14 pm

By Aaron Levitt

China is becoming a solar leader by expanding its programs in the area. The nation recently announced its Golden Sun Stimulus Package, with the goal of installing 500 megawatts of solar farms across the country in the next two to three years. Through the Chinese Ministry of Finance, the government would subsidize 50% of the costs of building a solar power project, including transmission and distribution costs. The subsidy would increase to 70% for solar farms in remote areas without connections to the grid. This latest round of subsidies for solar continues China’s commitment to generation targets of 10 gigawatts by 2020. Analysts predict that nearly two gigawatts of new production could be added to the grid by 2011. In March, the Ministry offered a program to subsidize rooftop and building-integrated solar power projects with as much as 20 Chinese yuan per watt.

To qualify for the estimated $10 billion in aid, the projects must have a generating capacity of at least 300 kilowatts, with construction being completed in one year and operations lasting at least 20 years. In addition, each province can only have a total of 20 subsidized projects. The Golden Sun plan comes at a perfect time, as China tries to reduce its rapidly expanding demand for imported oil and gas and reduce its carbon footprint. The plan is meant to develop the solar industry as a new source of economic growth.

A Few Shining Picks

Beijing gave no indication that the Golden Sun project would benefit Chinese-only solar firms. However, the European Chamber of Commerce’s China branch has received complaints about China’s recent massive economic stimulus plan. It cited that European wind turbine producers were shut out of the $5 billion earmarked for Chinese wind projects. With that in mind, it is probably best to stick to Chinese solar companies if you want to play the Golden Sun project.

Recently, both ReneSola (SOL) and Suntech Power (STP) inked deals ahead of the Ministry’s announcement to provide 2.3 gigawatts for provincial and city governments for 2009/2010. Additional deals should continue to flow as the plan unfolds.

Yingli Green Energy (YGE) is one of the largest producers of photovoltaic (PV) products in China. As one of the few vertically integrated Chinese solar companies, Yingli has the ability to produce the wafers, cells and modules, and then apply them to create sun farms. As such, the company should be eligible for a number of subsidies. The company recently announced a joint venture with SDIC Huajing Power Holding Co. to produce a 10 megawatt, on-grid solar farm in Dunhuang, Gansu Province.

JA Solar Holdings (JASO) and China Sunergy (CSUN) offer investors a way to play the manufacturing of PV cells, step three in the solar value chain. Like any semiconductor product, PV cells go through periods of oversupply. Thanks to oil’s rise to $150, which was followed by the current economic downturn, there is a glut of supply. However, the cells are a pivotal piece of the solar pie and have a high barrier to entry; they should provide nice returns once the world’s economies return to “normal”.

Bottom Line
With the Golden Sun Solar plan, China has made it very clear that it intends to be a worldwide solar leader. As the projects begin to take shape, the Chinese will gain valuable energy and well as economic benefits. One of the main growth stories within the solar sector has always been China and this plan is the first step toward that. Until the full details of the plan are known, investors who want to play the stimulus plan should stick to Chinese solar stocks. The picks we’ve examined here are good entry points into that market.

July 24, 2009

China Sunergy sees reporting Q2 profit, shares soar

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, LDK, SOLF, SPWR — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 5:30 pm

Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:30pm EDT

* Sees returning to qtrly profitability in Q2

* Sees Q2 shipments slightly exceeding prior view

* Sees Q2 margins about 9 pct

* Shares up nearly 15 pct

By Adveith Nair

BANGALORE, July 24 (Reuters) – Chinese solar cell products maker China Sunergy Co Ltd (CSUN) on Friday said it expects to return to profitability in the second quarter, sending its shares up as much as 15 percent.

The company said quarterly solar-cell shipments “slightly” exceeded its prior view of 35 megawatt (MW) to 40MW, with margins coming at about 9 percent.

Cowen and Co analyst Robert Stone said second-quarter shipments likely came in at about 41 MW, while average selling prices were down about 12 percent, compared with the company’s forecast of a 15 percent decline.

The analyst currently expects the company to just about break-even on an operating basis, and to earn 2 cents to 3 cents a share on a non-operating basis, with revenue coming in at about $59.5 million.

“That’s a huge improvement versus consensus estimates. What we’ll have to see is the trend on volumes and prices in the second half. I suspect that the trend, at least on shipments, will be higher based on the second-quarter results.”

Analysts on average currently expect China Sunergy to post a loss of 15 cents a share, before items, on revenue of about $49 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company’s bright outlook comes a day after SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) reported second-quarter results that blew past estimates, while China’s LDK Solar Co Ltd (LDK) raised second-quarter forecasts for both shipments and revenue.

(more…)

SunPower, LDK lead solar stock rally, MEMC slides

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, ENER, FSLR, LDK, SPWR, WFR, YGE — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 3:07 pm

Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:07pm EDT

* SunPower shrs rally 27 pct after Q2 earnings top view

* LDK soars 11.5 pct on raised outlook, lifts solar sector

* MEMC stock slumps 10 pct after two analyst downgrades

By Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES, July 24 (Reuters) – The shares of solar companies surged on Friday after U.S. panel maker SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) posted better-than-expected earnings and China’s LDK Solar Co (LDK) raised its sales forecast.

SunPower shares rallied 27 percent to $31.52 after the U.S. company’s earnings, announced late on Thursday, easily beat analysts’ forecasts, while China’s LDK saw its stock rise 12.2 percent to $11.56.

The shares of Chinese solar cell maker China Sunergy Co Ltd (CSUN) also rallied, jumping 11.5 percent to $5.53 after the company said quarterly shipments exceeded expectations and it expects to return to profitability in the second quarter.

Analysts at Citigroup, Canaccord Adams, Credit Suisse, FBR, and Collins Stewart all raised their price targets for SunPower shares. FBR and Collins Stewart also upgraded their ratings on the stock, FBR to “outperform” from “market perform” and Collins Stewart to “hold” from “sell.”

“Although we expect solar stocks to be volatile through (the second-quarter’s) earnings season, our upgrade is more company-specific, driven by the increased business prospects in the ‘rooftop’ segment of the market, which is SunPower’s sweet spot,” FBR analyst Mehdi Hosseini said in a note to clients.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Al Kaschalk, meanwhile, downgraded SunPower shares to “neutral” from “outperform,” saying price competition, high inventory levels and a continued lack of financing in the market continue to impact results, while the stock is fully valued following recent share gains.

(more…)

China Sunergy Provides Update on Selected 2009 Second Quarter Estimated Results

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

Friday July 24, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

NANJING, China, July 24 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), (”China Sunergy” or the ”Company”) a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, today announced an update regarding several estimated financial and operational results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2009.

China Sunergy’s second quarter solar cell shipments slightly exceeded the previously announced guidance of 35MW to 40MW. Gross profit margin is expected to be around 9%, compared with prior guidance of a positive low single digit number. China Sunergy also expects to return to quarterly profitability for the second quarter of 2009.

”During the second quarter China Sunergy met or exceeded the guidance targets we set for ourselves, and I am pleased with the dedicated effort demonstrated by the entire company to achieve these results,” Dr. Allen Wang, CEO of China Sunergy, remarked. ”We have experienced a steady monthly improvement in our operational and financial performance during the quarter, and I am looking forward to discussing our progress and challenges in more detail during the upcoming earnings period.”

As these selected estimated results are subject to the finalization of the Company’s financial closing procedures, the Company’s actual results may differ from its current estimates. China Sunergy plans to report its full second quarter 2009 results in late August 2009; once the reporting date is finalized a press release announcing the date and details of the second quarter conference call will be issued.

July 21, 2009

Adding back a few more for the China subsidy play

Filed under: CSUN, JASO, SOL, YGE — Tags: , — Jason @ 9:00 am

CSUN – China Sunergy Co. Ltd. $4.32

JASO – JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd. $4.56

SOL – ReneSola Ltd. $5.36

YGE – Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. $11.40

June 26, 2009

China Sunergy Files Annual Report on Form 20-F

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , — Jason @ 11:00 am

Friday June 26, 2009, 11:00 am EDT

NANJING, China, June 26 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, today announced that its Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2008, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its 2008 audited financial statements. The Annual Report on Form 20-F can be accessed via the investor relations section on the Company’s website at: http://www.chinasunergy.com .

The Company will provide a hard copy of its 20-F annual report, including audited financial statements, free of charge to its shareholders and ADS holders upon request. Requests should be directed to info@chinasunergy.com or Investor Relations, China Sunergy Co., Ltd, No. 123, West Focheng Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China, 211100.

An electronic copy of the 20-F annual report can also be found in the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

June 22, 2009

Cowen Cuts Ests On Falling Module ASPs

Filed under: CSUN, ESLR, SPWR, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 12:48 pm

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Cowen analyst Robert Stone this morning slashed his estimates on companies making silicon-based solar modules, noting that pricing has “taken another leg down since May.”

At the Intersolar conference in May, he notes in a research report, expectations were for a 15% sequential drop in pricing in Q2, but with Q3 showing a low-single digit change. But he now thinks that modules for tier one Chinese players could drop to $2/watt by year end, a slide of 15%-20% in the second half.

He also notes that spot polysilicon prices are down to $60-$75/kg from the high 70s in May, with wafers “trending well below $1/watt.”

Stone is actually fairly upbeat on the companies; falling prices make solar systems attractive to more buyers.

That said, his estimates have come down sharply:

* China Sunergy (CSUN): 2009 EPS to -63 cents from -42 cents. 2010 to 16 cents, from 28 cents.
* Evergreen Solar (ESLR): 2009 EPS to -63 cents, from -54 cents. 2010 to -22 cents, from -9 cents.
* SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB): 2009 EPS to 97 cents, from $1.13. 2010 EPS to $1.82, from $2.04.
* Suntech (STP): 2009 EPS to 25 cents, from 27 cents. 2010 to 60 cents, from 65 cents.
* Trina Solar (TSL): 2009 EPS to 86 cents, from $1.30. 2010 to $2.27, from $2.85.

In today’s trading:

* CSUN is down 27 cents, or 5.9%, to $4.34.
* ESLR is down 30 cents, or 12.9%, to $2.01.
* SPWRA is down $2.06, or 7.2%, to $26.43.
* STP is down $1.17, or 6.5%, to $16.87.
* TSL is down $1, or 4.4%, to $21.98.

June 20, 2009

Partial Eclipse for Solar Shares?

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, DUK, ENER, ESLR, EXC, FPL, FSLR, JASO, LDK, SOLF, SPWR, STP, TSL, YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 6:00 pm

By MIKE HOGAN
barrons.com

Mostly sunny skies for solar — but tread carefully.

INVESTORS IN SOLAR STOCKS TEND TO LOOK on the bright side of things. The result: some industry shares have risen to dizzying heights.

Share prices of Trina Solar (TSL), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Suntech Power (STP), Solarfun (SOLF), JA Solar (JASO) and China Sunergy (CSUN) have logged triple-digit percentage gains over the past quarter, according to Barclays Capital (www.barclayscapital.com). LDK Solar (LDK), First Solar (FSLR) and Evergreen Solar (ESLR) have posted high-double-digit returns.

We will get to what we would do with the shares in a minute, but first let’s see how this relatively small industry came back after crashing harder than most when the bottom fell out of the stock market. One propellant has been resurgent oil prices, which tend to reinforce the need for alternatives. Of course, the overall market’s revival has helped a lot, too.

Also important, solar stocks have a halo of political favor that helped them avoid a capital-deprivation-induced coma a few months ago. Instead, they will spend the next eight years protected by the government with a generous allowance of federal, state and local tax incentives, reports the Solar Energy Industries Association (www.seia.org/cs/solar_tax_policy). This protection comes courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

SUBSIDIES ARE REQUIRED — for the time being, at least — because even with a free supply of sunshine, solar is the costliest way to generate electricity by a sizable margin, notes global energy researcher New Energy Finance (www.weforum.org/pdf/climate/Green.pdf). It faces significant technology hurdles before it can take its place alongside baseload energy sources on the national power grid. On the other hand, solar is uniquely equipped to be a low-cost answer to the peak-demand problems that bedevil utilities.

“We feel that, within three years, solar will achieve price parity with natural gas and other sources during afternoon and summer peak-load hours,” says Barclays Capital Analyst Vishal Shah.

Delivering a fraction of 1% of America’s electricity at present, solar won’t command much more than a couple of percentage points 20 years from now, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration (www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energy_consump/rea_prereport.html).

But of more relevance to investors is that this narrow slice of a very large energy pie is growing at an astounding rate, says Merrill Lynch researcher Steven Milunovich. Pre-eminent energy auditor British Petroleum (www.bp.com) reported a 69% increase in solar installations in 2008, of which the U.S. has about one gigawatt of the world’s 14 gigawatt capacity (www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9023789&contentId=7044135). A megawatt (MW) is one million watts and a gigawatt (GW) is 1,000 megawatts.

By Shah’s count, projects already in the pipeline should add more than three GW of new generating capacity by 2012 to each of two relatively untapped markets — utilities and large-scale commercial businesses. The recovery and reinvestment legislation lets businesses get cash back from the U.S. Treasury Department for 30% of the cost of a solar project (www.treas.gov/recovery/programs.shtml). That and low-interest loan guarantees, notes Shah, are adding jumbo solar arrays to the roofs of big-box stores like Wal-mart (WMT) (http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/NewsRoom/ 9100.aspx) and multi-megawatt solar farms to the portfolios of utilities that need to offset carbon emissions.

Major coal user Duke Energy (DUK) will buy all 16 MW of capacity from a new SunEdison (www.sundedison.com) facility, and build 10 MW of its own capacity (www.duke-energy.com). Florida Power & Light (FPL), the nation’s largest solar operator, plans another 110 MW, including a 10 MW solar array at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (www.fpl.com/news/ 2009/52709.shtml). Even nuclear powerhouse Exelon (EXC) is developing a new 10 MW facility with SunPower (www.sunpowercorp.com) in downtown Chicago (www.exeloncorp.com/aboutus/news/pressrelease/corporate/ 04232009_1Q+Earnings.htm).

The new tax regime helps defray what can be $30,000 in up-front costs for residential solar systems that now account for most American capacity (www.nrel.gov/docs/fy09osti/44853.pdf). EIA anticipates another 1.6 million installations by 2016 (www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/demand.html) from consumers who can find which local, state and federal programs apply to their locales in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (www.nrel.gov) database at DSIRE (www.dsireusa.org).

The real catalysts for share appreciation, though, will be the megawatt-sized utility and commercial installations, says Shah. Government pump priming has restarted the flow of private capital, adds New Energy Finance (www.newenergyfinance.com): “Already in the second quarter, investment in clean energy companies via the public markets has rallied sharply with well over $2 billion of completed secondary issues.”

SO WHAT SHOULD INVESTORS DO? Chinese solar companies sell at a median multiple of 55 times 2009 earnings, a heady bounce from their median nine times just before China announced its stimulus plans in March. Meanwhile, their American cousins have climbed to a median multiple of 27 times — led by a 74% run-up in U.S. technology leader First Solar.

Depending on the price you paid, Shah suggests you might want to lighten up on Canadian Solar and Solarfun based on valuation. But don’t abandon the sector altogether. As high as they are, valuations aren’t that rich in terms of projected 2010 earnings, says Shah. He and Milunovich agree this could be a breakout year, in which select companies — leading Chinese crystalline-silicon panel makers like Yingli, JA and Suntech, and U.S. thin-film innovators like First Solar, SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) and Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) — will be able to support a 20-plus multiple.

While small solar companies have more headroom for share-price gains than do larger energy companies, their shares come with more risk and volatility. Don’t be blind to the downside.

June 15, 2009

Solars Down Sharply; Prices “In Free Fall”; Beware TSMC

Filed under: CSUN, DSTI, ESLR, FSLR, HOKU, JASO, SOLF, SOLR — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 1:03 pm

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Solar shares, which in recent weeks have staged a ferocious rally, are getting hammered today, as investors take profits amid concerns about pricing and demand in the sector. As I noted last week, even some of the smallest and most speculative solar names had taken off, making the sector look more than a little frothy. But with some smaller solar players running into trouble – Hoku Scientific (HOKU) on Friday said it might run out of cash before it can complete a planned polysilicon factory – the stocks today are losing ground.

In a research report late Friday, FBR Capital analyst Mehdi Hosseini said that product prices in the sector are falling more than expected. He says that while investors are anticipating “a hockey-stick shaped demand uptick in the U.S., China and other emerging countries,” he instead sees a slow roll-out of subsidies, tightened terms from financiers and over-hyped news items, some from untrustworthy sources.

Hosseini writes that declining prices are not stimulating demand as many had expected, and that the take-off of demand growth is being push into the first half 2010. “In this environment of unstable pricing and financing conditions…investors are better off staying on the sidelines and focusing more on poly manufacturers,” he writes, adding that with more than a quarter’s worth of finished goods in inventory, and weak end-market demand due tight finance conditions, Q2 EPS reports could be disappointing.

Hosseini writes that spot poly prices have fallen as low as $60/kg in the Asian market, though most is priced at the $65-$70/kg range, well below the $90-$95 price in early April. He says price for six-inch solar wafers have fallen as low at $3, with most sold in the $3.20-$3.40 range. Cell prices, he says, are in the $1.30 to $1.50/watt range, down from $1.80-$2 in early April.

Here’s a look at some of today’s biggest movers in the solar sector:

* Evergreen Solar (ESLR), a big winner last week, is down 25 cents, or 9.5%, to $2.37.
* GT Solar (SOLR) is down 94 cents, or 13.6%, to $5.95.
* JA Solar (JASO), which was downgraded today by Lazard Capital to Hold from Buy, is down 37 cents, or 6.5%, to $5.30.
* Solarfun (SOLF) is down 70 cents, or 9.1%, to $7.02.
* China Sunergy (CSUN) is down 50 cents, or 8.8%, to $5.19.
* First Solar (FSLR) is down $5.18, or 2.8%, to $178.62.
* DayStar (DSTI) is down 11 cents, or 11.4%, to 87 cents.

Update: One other thing. The New York Times on Saturday reported that Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), the world’s leading contract chip manfuacturer, wants to get into the solar business, as well as the LED lighting market. The Times notes that TSMC is “one of the most formidable manufacturers on the planet,” and could drive down prices, as it did in the chip business. The piece notes that TSMC last week shifted CEO Rick TsaiMorris Chang, the company’s chairman and founder, to a new job targeted at finding new business opportunities.

China Sunergy Signs 53MW Sales Framework Agreement and 3MW Sales Contract With Renergies Italia

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

Agreement Marks China Sunergy’s First Partnership in Italy

Monday June 15, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

NANJING, China, June 15 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, today announced that it has entered into a 6 year, 53MW sales framework agreement and a 3MW sales contract with Renergies Italia S.p.A, (“Renergies Italia”), a manufacturer of solar modules based in Urbisaglia(MC), Italy.

Based on the terms of the non-binding framework agreement, a total of 53MW of solar cells manufactured by China Sunergy may be sold to Renergies Italia between 2009 and 2014. Given the non-specific nature of the agreement, each actual sale of solar cells will be based on definitive contracts which will be negotiated between China Sunergy and Renergies Italia.

Pursuant to this framework agreement, the parties entered into a 3MW contract of solar cells to be supplied from China Sunergy to Renergies Italia during 2009. The remaining potential delivery volume of 50MW solar cells may be provided by China Sunergy to Renergies Italia between 2010 to 2014, with 5-15MW of solar cells sold per year.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Ruennsheng Allen Wang, Director and CEO of China Sunergy, remarked: “An important part of China Sunergy’s growth strategy has been the development of new partnerships with industry leaders across diverse geographies. This agreement demonstrates our ability to execute on both of those initiatives despite the challenging sales environment. We are excited to have a strong partner in Renergies Italia, and to have signed this important framework agreement and sales contract in a new solar market for China Sunergy.”

June 10, 2009

Solar stocks up as companies cut conference deals, look to demand upside

Filed under: CSUN, ESLR, JASO, SPWR, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 2:58 pm

Dirk Lammers, AP Energy Writer
Wednesday June 10, 2009, 2:58 pm EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Several solar stocks rose Wednesday as companies continue to cut deals during an industry conference in Philadelphia.

Shares of Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP) climbed again on Wednesday after China’s largest solar company announced a new 500-megawatt project. Suntech added $1.41, or 7.8 percent, to $19.41 on Wednesday afternoon.

China-based solar-cell maker Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (YGE) on Tuesday announced it has signed an agreement to supply closely held Recurrent Energy Inc. with crystalline photovoltaic-solar modules through 2012. Yingli shares rose 9 cents to $15.96.

The Solar Energy Industries Association is hosting its PV America conference in Philadelphia this week.

Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) hadn’t issued any new news releases on Wednesday, but its stock gained 37 cents, or 19 percent, to $2.31.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. rates the company as a “Hold,” but said that Evergreen and other solar companies should soon benefit from a new feed-in tariff rate adopted this year by Greece — traditionally a small player in solar.

Greek officials just detailed the rate for roof-mounted solar photovoltaic systems at 0.55 euro per kilowatt-hour, which analyst Steve O’Rourke said is a generous rate that’s locked in for 25 years.

The country installed 11 megawatts in 2008 under its previous incentive plan. O’Rourke said that could climb to between 35 and 40 megawatts in 2009 with a market potential of more than 100 megawatts in 2010.

Although that’s still a small contribution to global demand, the aggregate of smaller emerging markets could make a significant contribution in the coming years, he said.

“We expect markets like Greece and eastern Europe to contribute more meaningfully beginning in 2010,” O’Rourke wrote in a client note.

Raymond James analyst Darren Horowitz downgraded JA Solar Holdings Ltd. (JASO) to “Market Perform” from “Outperform,” saying he’s “taking a breather after a 50 percent run-up in two weeks.”

Horowitz said it appears that shares, which gained 9 cents to $6.07 on Wednesday, are now near fair value.

Other rising solar stocks Wednesday included China Sunergy Co. Ltd. (CSUN), up 39 cents, or 7.3 percent, to $5.73; and SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB), up $1.03, or 3.8 percent, to $28.39.

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