The stellar results reported by SolarWorld last week acted as a catalyst to “light up” the solar industry sector in Europe, according to the Financial Times (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1bf0834a-32ad-11e0-b323-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1DK6KY7ps). SolarWorld, a silicon wafer manufacturer based in Germany, combined a higher-than-expected profit with a dividend increase that together prompted a 6.7 percent increase in its stock price. SolarWorld stock peaked in early 2009 at nearly €25 but, until now, has been dropping ever since.
After the stellar earnings announcement SolarWorld closed at €8.34 and S&P Equity Research upgraded the stock from a sell to a buy, according to the FT. SMA Solar Technology, the leader in Germany’s solar sector, jumped up 7 percent to €78.10. Germany has long been considered a global leader in the promotion of the solar industry and the country as a whole purchased half of the world’s solar panels in 2010..
It appears that some of the better positioned smallcap solar stocks trading in the U.S. followed the SolarWorld lead. China-based Renesola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL, http://www.renesola.com/) has been on a tear since last week, jumping from $10.58 last Thursday, Feb. 10, to today’s close (Feb. 14) of $11.90, a 13 percent increase in three trading days. Renesola, with a $1 billion market cap, manufactures and sells solar wafers and other solar products.
Ontario-based Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ, http://www.canadian-solar.com/), an international designer and seller of solar products with a $647 million market cap, has also enjoyed a good few days. Starting at $13.61 Friday (Feb. 11), the stock closed Monday (Feb. 14) at $15.10.
China-based Solarfun Power Holdings (Nasdaq: SOLF, http://www.solarfun.cn/einfo.htm), which manufactures and sells photovoltaic cells and modules as well as silicon ingots and wafers, among other products, jumped up 3.95 percent Feb. 14 to $9.14. It didn’t hurt that a feature published on Seeking Alpha Feb. 14 picked SOLF as one of five leading solar energy stocks have bottomed out and “already begun long upward trends.”
Marlboro, MA-based Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR, http://www.evergreensolar.com/), which makes solar cells, panels and wafers, announced Feb. 14 that it continues its stuggles to restructure its debt. The company announced that it was “disappointed” that bondholders committed to exchange only $45.4 million of the $200 million in debt it had hoped to restructure to “align the company’s capital structure with its evolving business model and better position the company for growth,” according to the (http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2011/02/14/evergreen-solar-debt-swap-falls-short.html?ana=yfcpc). The stock dropped 5 cents to $2.15, way down from its high of $7.92 it hit a year ago.