Tuesday, September 25, 2007

 

Sector Spotlight: Solar Stocks

I haven't mentioned this sector, because I hate it ("The Fly" hates sectors he misses out on). However, it is the hottest sector, since the invention of the internet, so I might as well opine.

Look you, I can't tell the difference between a solar panel or a trash can. All I know is the share prices have "gone nuclear" and momentum fools are all over them.

If I had to bet on one, maybe I'd pick SPWR. However, I'm not picking one, so fuck SPWR.

Here is my watch list. Feel free to add a name or give reasons for their ownership, or don't. Either scenario is acceptable.

AKNS, CPSL, PEFF, CSUN, CTDC, ASTI, ASTIZ, SOLF, CSIQ, SPIR, LDK, CBAK, XSNX, BCON, JASO, ESLR, YGE, TSL, DLSL, FSLR, SPWR, WFR, AXTI, PWER, STP and GRSR.

Comments:
Short them all.
 
I have made a few handfuls with DSTI/DSTIZ this year.
 
Fly, do you also not like titties and beer? I would hate for you to miss out on the titties and beer sector, via PTT.
 
Woodshedder,

Everyone knows that RICK is a stronger stock.

It has clubs in TX, where the women are the hottest---Crude Broker can vouch for that.
 
HOKU.
 
Wood--

Just know, "The Fly" spits at those who visit strip bars.

They are meaningless cock teasers, where retards go to waste their money.

I'd rather do intravenous heroin in a housing project, than be caught dead in a tittie bar.

Plus anyway, my wife won't allow it.
 
I believe AMAT bought an interest in a solar company about six months ago, but its obviously a small part of the revenue. I have had solar panels for my pool for twelve years now and heating it is great in the winter and its FREE.
 
My wife reads this place more than I. You must have scored big points. She'll have me double the MVIS postion now.
 
I spent over 10 years monitoring photovoltaic technology and business - most of those years were before I did much investing, but there were almost no solar stocks back then anyway.

The number one thing to keep in mind about the PV business right now is that it is highly dependent on subsidies - from governments, from utility companies, from aid agencies, from celebrity earnings, whatever.

It is cost-effective only for remote power, and that market is either very small (remote areas in industrialized nations)or very poor (undeveloped nations).

Forget about projections of how big the market will be in X years when costs drop X%. Those are crap and always have been.

Forget company press releases (especially from companies that are selling little or no product yet) about their wonder technologies that will drop costs by x% or to $x per watt. Making the product is less than half the battle, and production/selling price is far from enough info to judge the competitiveness of the product.

For a longer term investment, go with companies with a lot of production and selling experience under their belts (unless you know enough about the business to discriminate on specifics). Many of the companies on the list are crap or worse. Your biggest risk with the leaders is that subsidies can disappear overnight. Companies using slices or ribbons of crystalline silicon have the best technology base, but face two other risks: constraints on silicon supply and the likelihood that thin films or similar will eventually claim almost all of the market.

Shorter term, the Fly has the right approach. Investors don't know the difference between a solar panel and a trash can (their primary sources of info are company press releases and silly newspaper articles), and they pile into the stocks on news.

I used to have fun sitting watch on some hydrogen and fuel cell stocks and shorting them every time they spiked for a reason I could identify and analyze (Bush's State of the Union speeches were gold for this). That game finally ended when the stock prices got too low. You could play the same game with the solar stocks if you found a company that had no hope of going anywhere.

Since I'm already in trouble for word count violations, I'll throw in some political talk to earn bonus time in the penalty box.

Free Iceland!
 
Caddy, you are right about AMAT. Perhaps that division will be the catalyst to wake that old dog up. Used to be a monster of a stock back in the day.
 
Ott--

Nice post.

Give me a few names that's worth looking at, after a dip.
 
WFR is coming out of a nice seven month consolidation.
 
Fly, the one that Lori was touting WWAT is kind of intersting. Right up your alley. One of their products is a completley solar powered irrigation system. I think it's fixed right to a trailer. You haul it right to the middle of your Kentucky hemp feild, and voila! Free irrigation.

Did you read the LNN analyst report that still has a lingering effect on the stock? What was the dick saying that cuased his downgrade?
 
Fly, so are you saying you won't buy solar stocks just because the people who use the cells are dirty aging hippies?

I don't get your reasoning.

PTT doesn't require you to visit the bars to profit. All you have to do is own the stock.
 
FSLR's thin film technology is superior to the PV guys. Morgan Stanley claims FSLR is the low cost producer/watt by a wide margin and that they are on the verge of being cost competitive with the grid (without subsidies). They're generating hockey stick like growth in revenues and earnings, so investors are already discounting huge growth. It's one of those stocks that will always look grossly overvalued.

The Walton family (Wal-Mart) and Goldman funded FSLR pre-IPO.
 
Wow! nice chart.

Thats about what MVIS chart will look like starting in summer of 2008...
 
Fly, I'd like to oblige, but I don't think giving you names to look at after a dip would be my strong suit right now.

I literally haven't looked at a single PV company or stock in 3 years, and even then it was just to debunk some pink sheet crap somebody was pumping on a board I was reading. Prior to that, there's another large gap back to my last look at PV companies.

But I can still provide some value. I can pretty quickly evaluate news events or company press releases to determine if the market reaction is overdone, though I would likely need to do a little background work on news from individual companies.

Next comment will be my quick impression after 20 minutes of Googling and glancing at FSLR filings.
 
I know that my mind is nothing compared to the Fly's "calculator brain", but could someone explain how CPSL fits in with Solar stocks????
 
G:

No.
 
(_*&#()*&!

I love Firefox, but it has occasional hangups when I try to open PDF files.

So, my 95% complete comment on FSLR has been wiped out. I'll have to re-do it when I have the chance.
 
A number of folks commented on FSLR. My response is SHORT FSLR. I did myself. FSLR is not a Chinese solar player. But that is the least of problem.

The biggest problem, is FSLR is based on an extremely environment harmful technology, CdTe. Cadmium is extremely toxic, worse than mercury. FSLR solar panels have not sold any in the US market. I guess they can't get through EPA. They do sell in the Germany market but that could change at the change of heart of the ermany government.

To address the environmental concern, FSLR had to set aside a special fund to run an aggressive recycle program, which monitors and keeps track of locations of each of the CdTe solar panel it sold globally. At the end of the lifecycle they send some one over to dismantle the solar panels, package them and ship back for recycle treatment. The goal is to recycle 100% of the solar panel so they do not get accidentally dump into trash cans.

When you count in the lifetime cost of such aggressive recycle program, the total usage cost of a CdTe solar panel is actually very expensive, way much more expensive than a silicon based technology.

FSLR's solar panel claims to be thin film. But it's made on top of very thick glass substrate. As such it is way much more heavier than regular silicon solar panels. They are so heavy that they can not be installed on rooftops!!!

I don't see FSLR going any where.

As for fuel cell development, watch out the US DOT news. They just approved DMFC fuel cells to be bought onto airplanes. This is the clearest sign that the technology is getting ready for mass marketing.

That is very bullish for PGM metal producer SWC and PAL. Platinum today shot up to all time high!!! Have a look.
 
STFU fuckface.

Your Mother is dating a platinum goat.
 
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