9.88 +0.11 (1.13%)
Pre-Market: 4:02AM EDT
|Bid||9.51 x 300|
|Ask||41.90 x 1400|
|Day's Range||9.20 - 9.79|
|52 Week Range||6.46 - 11.70|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
On a mixed day for day the major benchmarks, Intuitive Surgical jumped on strong earnings and SunPower announced it is buying a domestic solar panel factory.
First Solar stock jumped after receiving an upgrade and price-target boost based on expectations of rising solar demand. SunPower acquired solar panel maker SolarWorld
The news sent SunPower's shares up 12 percent on the Nasdaq to their highest level since before President Donald Trump imposed 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panels in January. SunPower is based in San Jose, California but most of its manufacturing is in the Philippines and Mexico.
Rival Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ) offered a respectable 20% in the past year, but it’s nowhere near FSLR stock. Unfortunately, in hindsight, I unnecessarily cautioned against buying First Solar shares. Since then, FSLR stock has rocketed 55%, leaving me with egg on my face.
Solar stocks took a beating in the second half of 2015 and throughout 2016, but the sector turned around in 2017. In fact, one exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracking the sector – the Guggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN) – generated impressive returns of over 54% last year. Solar stocks soared in the past due in part to federal tax credits for home solar installation and other incentives to stimulate the industry, but the sector was surprisingly resilient in 2017 despite a presidential administration that does not prioritize renewable energy to the same extent as its predecessor.
SunPower Corp.’s new strategy: If you can’t beat them in the tariff game, buy them. The panel maker, which spent more than a year fighting U.S. import tariffs, announced Wednesday it was buying a rival that was instrumental in pushing for them. The purchase of SolarWorld Americas for an undisclosed sum includes an Oregon factory that will help SunPower avoid the duties.
Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Jinko Solar, Azure Power Global, Dominion Midstream, SunPower and NextEra Energy Partners
The amount of new solar generating capacity added last year was sharply lower than in 2016, but the reasons for the plunge have nothing to do with its continued viability as a low-cost energy source.
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