First Solar (FSLR), Solar Stocks Down on Sell-Off

Joel Anderson  |

Solar stocks were on the move Tuesday, tumbling along with the market as the Guggenheim Solar ETF ($TAN) was off almost 2.25 percent and the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ($KWT) lost over 2.25 percent. Some of the segment’s biggest players joined the sell-off, with First Solar (FSLR) off almost 3.5 percent, SunPower Corporation (SPWR) down over 4.5 percent, and Yingli Green Energy (YGE) falling over 4.25 percent.

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Sell-off Amid Uncertain Market

Both American and Chinese manufacturers appeared to be affected by the sell-off, which came amid the second-straight day of losses for the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq. It also comes after news last night that a bankruptcy trustee for Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. would be suing three Chinese panel makers, Trina Solar, Ltd. (TSL) , Yingli Green Energy, and SunTech Power Holdings (STP) . The lawsuit alleges that the three companies conspired to export more than 95 percent of their product in a price-dumping scheme that resulted in the bankruptcy of Energy Conversion Devices. Trustee John Madden, who filed the suit, is seeking the equivalent of Energy Conversion’s book value, some $950 million.

Rough Day Amid Strong Year

The losses on Tuesday could just be a speed bump as performance by solar companies have been extremely strong in 2013. The Guggenhaim Solar ETF is the best-performing non-leveraged ETF so far in 2013, gaining over 125 percent.

ReneSola (SOL) Bucks Trend on Upgrade

Not all solar stocks took a hit, though. ReneSola Ltd. ($SOL) gained almost 9.5 percent after an upgrade from Zacks Equity Research. Zacks upgraded ReneSola to a strong buy, its highest rating, citing ReneSola’s superior position to deal with oversupply and the current trade-war between Chinese and America.

“With most of its solar peers in trouble due to an oversupply of solar panels, ReneSola seems to be in a better position with multiple contracts and agreements,” said Zacks analysts. “The company is a prominent player in the U.S. solar market. Despite the implementation of countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar products by the U.S. government, the company is regularly winning contracts in the U.S. due to the high standard of its products and services.”

Also moving contrary to the segment was Hanwa Solarone Co Ltd (HSOL) , which gained over 5.75 percent.

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