SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

December 02, 2011 08:16 ET

ReneSola and Suntech Power Brace for Downswing in Demand

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on ReneSola & Suntech Power

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 2, 2011) - After being beaten down for most of the year, North American and Chinese solar stocks skyrocketed this week. Auriga analyst Hari Chandra raised his outlook for several companies in the sector, arguing that Wednesday's move by major central banks to add liquidity to the global financial system could ease financing for solar projects. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Solar Industry and provides investment research on ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) and Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Solar companies have struggled for financing this year as a global panel glut sent prices down and hurt manufacturers' profits. The price of solar panels has dropped as much as 40 percent this year as several European markets trimmed subsidies, leaving the market with extra supplies and sending shares of most Chinese solar companies down more than 70 percent since 2010.

Reuters noted that financing for US solar projects has been bolstered by a tax credit program that is set to expire at the end of this year, "causing concern among some in the industry that financing will become even more limited."

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Suntech is the world's largest maker of photovoltaic panels. Last month the company predicted fourth-quarter shipments will fall about 20 percent from the third quarter and gross margin will shrink to between 9 and 11 percent from 13.3 percent in the third quarter. Despite the poor outlook, Suntech remains cautiously optimistic going forward on hopes that falling prices for solar panels and related gear will boost demand, especially for bigger projects.

Suntech's third-quarter loss equaled 64 cents per share and compared with net income of $33.1 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.

ReneSola also posted a third-quarter loss and forecast a weak fourth quarter, hurt by weak demand in its key markets. For fiscal 2011, the company expects total solar wafer and module shipments in the range of 1.23 GW-1.25 GW and revenues in the range of $935 million-$945 million.

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