Christoph's Feed
May 26, 2011

SMA Solar fights to defend market share, margins

KASSEL, Germany, May 26 (Reuters) – SMA Solar (S92G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the
world’s largest maker of solar inverters, is gearing up for a
tough defence of its 20 percent-plus profit margins and leading
market share as competition intensifies in the lucrative sector.

“We are looking very, very closely at our competition and
don’t get me wrong — we’re fighting for our customers every
day,” incoming Chief Executive Pierre-Pascal Urbon told the
company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.

May 18, 2011

SMA Solar: safe bet or hot potato?

FRANKFURT, May 18 (Reuters) – SMA Solar (S92G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the
world’s largest maker of solar inverters, last week posted
stronger-than-expected first-quarter results. [ID:nLDE74B1BJ]

However, the figures also showed that its margin for
earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) — usually close to 30
percent — fell to 5.4 percent in the first three months of the
year, due to high inventories at customers and stronger

May 13, 2011

SMA Solar defies sector gloom

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – SMA Solar, the world’s No.1 maker of solar inverters, kept its 2011 outlook, banking on a pick-up in demand in the second half and defying bleak views from competitors for a tough year ahead.

Makers of solar cells and modules, such as First Solar, and Q-Cells, said earlier this month 2011 would be tough as falling government subsidies hit demand.

May 13, 2011

SMA Solar keeps 2011 outlook, banks on H2

FRANKFURT, May 13 (Reuters) – SMA Solar (S92G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the
world’s No.1 solar inverter maker, posted better-than-expected
first-quarter results and kept its outlook for 2011, banking on
a pickup in demand in the second half of the year.

“Since the beginning of the second quarter, demand for our
products has increased slightly,” the company said adding it
still expected a margin for 2011 earnings before interest and
tax (EBIT) of 21 to 25 percent, down from 27.4 percent in 2010.

May 11, 2011

Subsidy cuts overshadow Germany’s Phoenix, Nordex

FRANKFURT, May 11 (Reuters) – Two of Germany’s biggest
renewable companies posted mostly weaker than expected earnings,
eroded by falling government support and pricing pressure that
has clouded the sector’s push following Japan’s nuclear crisis.

German solar wholesaler Phoenix Solar (PS4G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a
wider than expected operating loss of 16.9 million euros ($23.61
million) for the first quarter, and joined peers in warning of a
tough remainder of the year due to lower solar power subsidies.

May 10, 2011

Centrotherm Q1 boosted by Asia, keeps outlook

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, May 10 (Reuters) – Centrotherm
(CTNG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s No.2 solar equipment maker, stuck to its
outlook when posting forecast-beating results driven by strong
demand from Asia, sending its shares higher.

Centrotherm said on Tuesday it made 84 percent of
first-quarter sales in Asia, home to the largest solar cell and
module makers, which have eaten into Europe’s market share of
the solar industry in recent years.

May 6, 2011

Strong demand for volatility indexes – S&P’s Blitzer

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Strong market swings have led to rising investor demand for index products linked to volatility, according to the chairman of the index committee at McGraw-Hill’s Standard & Poor’s.

“The strongest need for new indexes can be observed with regard to volatility-related (products),” David Blitzer told Reuters in an interview at Inside ETFs Europe, the continent’s biggest ETF conference, adding that demand in the U.S. market was bigger than in Europe.

Apr 29, 2011

Total’s SunPower bid adds shine to solar M&A

FRANKFURT, April 29 (Reuters) – French energy major Total
SA’s (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) landmark $1.37 billion offer for a majority stake
in U.S. company SunPower (SPWRA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) gave fresh impetus to hopes
of more deals, lifting European solar firms’ shares.

Total’s move is one of the biggest ever by an oil and gas
giant into the market for renewable energy, which has seen a
resurgence of interest following the nuclear crisis at Japan’s
Fukushima power plant caused by last month’s earthquake.

Apr 27, 2011

Solar results to spotlight Italy turmoil, costs

LOS ANGELES/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – For solar panel makers, rising raw material costs and a looming cut in government support for solar power in Italy are likely to upstage first-quarter numbers, when the world’s largest solar companies begin reporting their quarterly results next week.

For months, investors have fretted about an expected change in solar energy incentives in Italy, a market that exploded last year due to generous government support.

Apr 18, 2011

Analysis: Western solar equipment firms feel heat of rising

HONG KONG/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Chinese companies are attacking the last stronghold of Western dominance in solar power, undercutting bigger rivals and winning orders in the booming $12 billion photovoltaic power equipment industry.

Rapid solar-power expansion in energy-hungry Asia and the ability to provide equipment at much lower rates to an industry looking to cut costs and stay competitive are helping Chinese companies find a firm foothold after elbowing out Western rivals in photovoltaic modules and cells.

    • About Christoph

      "I'm responsible for the coverage of German renewable companies, mainly solar, at Reuters News. Previously, I have worked as a correspondent at Thomson Financial News, covering German technology and construction companies."
    • Follow Christoph