SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

May 05, 2010 10:08 ET

Are Solar Stocks Still Appealing?

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - May 5, 2010) - - If there is one remarkable milestone to remember in 2008 other than the recession invading the scene by the end of that year it would be the sharp rise of solar stocks. However, at that time, all the prime conditions were aligned to provide solar energy or related stocks a solid platform to skyrocket from oil prices soaring to new highs, natural gas also moving up, delays in new nuclear plants constructions, and the list goes on. A key factor other than the obvious that propelled solar stocks at that time was investors' bullish sentiment for green stocks. People were stern believers that solar energy would a good long-term solution for global energy issues worldwide. But 2008 also saw the solar energy industry plunged down like a quick sunset, and the industry has since stayed in a twilight stage with some shy rays of sunshine attempting to head north.

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In recent months, nonetheless, industry experts have seen some base building within the industry and many believe that some of the conditions are starting to come together for solar stocks to be back on investors' radars once again. With the growing bullishness sweeping the industry, a number of experts are revaluating their opinions on solar equipment makers like GT Solar International Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR). The company received a buy rating from Wunderlich Securities mid-April on grounds that the company is actively pursuing new technologies that could produce raw Polysilicon at $20.00 per kilo.

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First Solar was the first of the solar stocks to announce its earnings last week and the company's result was well above Wall Street's estimate; earnings of $2.00 per share and revenue of $568 million in the first quarter. The company recently acquired 1.1 gigawatts pipeline from NexLight Renewable Power, following the SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA) recent acquisition of more than 1.2 gigawatts pipeline from SunRay Renewable Energy. Investors are expecting a tug of war between First Solar and SunPower regarding First Solar's recent acquisition as SunPower was initially under contract to deliver the modules and services for a project of 230MW in the NexLight pipeline. Investors have responded well whenever these acquisitions news were announced indicating that there is still some hope for solar stocks.

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It would seem that many solar energy experts are now getting out of their bear caves to embrace a more bullish stance towards this industry, but consensus on the street remains that solar stocks should be regarded as long term plays. 

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