FRANKFURT/HONG KONG (Reuters) – European solar players could get an unexpected business boost as a stronger yuan and a weaker euro relative to the dollar deal a double blow to low-cost Asian rivals’ foreign expansion strategy.
Chinese solar cell and module players such as Suntech Power Holding and Yingli Green Energy built up a 50-percent market share in the German market, the world’s biggest, thanks to weakness in the dollar over the past three years and the fixed yuan exchange rate.
Much has been written about how solar power could help to
solve the energy crisis facing mankind. Ideas range from
harnessing the Sahara’s heat through parabolic mirrors to
transmitting solar energy from space to earth.
The Desertec solar project, for example, aims to supply 15
percent of Europe’s energy needs by 2050. Yet according to
Brussels-based EPIA, the world’s biggest solar industry
association, more could be achieved some 30 years earlier.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Q-Cells, the world’s fourth-largest maker of solar cells, has been suffering greatly from the industry’s crisis but recent analyst upgrades suggest that there could be cash to reap from its beaten shares.
The company’s stock has dropped about 47 percent so far this year, performing worse than peers such as First Solar and Suntech, but some analysts have abandoned their long-term “sell” stance on the stock.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Cheap stocks and robust consumption by its middle class are reason to buy into China now, even though markets have turned cautious on the world’s No.3 economy, a fund manager at BlackRock told Reuters.
“The sentiment (regarding investing in China) is quite different from 6-8 months ago. And we are not immune to these concerns. There is risk, but we do think that it is a good opportunity to invest in the country, due to low valuations and strong consumption,” Jing Ning, portfolio manager at BlackRock, said in an interview on Thursday.
BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Small engineering and luxury products companies in Europe could outperform larger competitors in the current market squeeze as the falling euro accentuates the benefits of emerging market demand.
Small-cap stocks tend to underperform larger peers during downturns and outperform during economic recoveries and since the Greek sovereign debt crisis has hit markets, small companies in Europe have lost almost twice as much as their bigger rivals.
FRANKFURT, May 20 (Reuters) – SolarWorld’s <SWVG.DE> share
buy-back has renewed investor interest in the company’s stock,
which hit a four-year low last week after first-quarter profit
missed estimates. [ID:nWEA1455]
Solarworld, Germany’s biggest solar company by revenue, said
on Thursday that so far it had bought back 1.4 million shares at
an average price of 9.46 euros ($11.75). It plans to buy back up
to 10 percent of the company’s share capital. [ID:nWEA3255]
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Sharp Corp, the world’s No.3 maker of solar cells, sees revenues from its cell business growing by more than 10 percent in the current fiscal year on strong German demand, a company executive told Reuters.
“We aim for sales of more than 500 million euros ($616.2 million) in Europe,” Peter Thiele, the executive vice president of its European solar activities, said in an interview late on Monday, adding last year’s sales came in at about 450 million.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – SMA Solar, the world’s No.1 maker of solar inverters, warned it could not fully meet strong demand in the second quarter due to component shortages, sending its shares more than 2 percent lower.
“The inadequate supply of electronic components affects not only all inverter manufacturers but a number of other sectors as well,” SMA Solar Technology AG Chief Executive Guenther Cramer said in a statement on Friday.
FRANKFURT/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. solar company SunPower posted a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, while German solar companies and a Chinese rival benefited from brisk demand for the renewable energy source.
But solar stocks fell across the board as good results were not good enough for investors expecting blowout sales numbers, and looming cuts in Germany’s industry subsidies weighed on expectations.
FRANKFURT/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Germany’s top solar companies warned that demand and prices for solar panels could fall off sharply after government subsidy cuts in their domestic market, the world’s largest, kick in later in the year.
Once spoiling investors with lavish returns, the solar sector is in the process of consolidation as governments cap support for the subsidy-dependent industry to move it closer to being economically independent.