The future of the energy industry is likely going to be a hodgepodge of different renewable sources. But the primary factor will be solar power.
The solar industry is a prime example of a set-it-and-forget-it secular growth theme that – while featuring occasional bouts of volatility and the need for internal stock picking – will have a steady long-term tailwind at its back for years and possibly decades to come.
However, the devil is in the details. And different players in the space – such as First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), Green Stream Holdings Inc (OTC US:GSFI), Array Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY), Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ), Enphase Energy Inc (NASDAQ:ENPH), and Invesco Solar ETF (NYSEARCA:TAN) – will have different core theses driving their value proposition for prospective shareholders.
With that in mind, we take a look below at some of the recent catalysts driving a few of the most interesting players in the solar space.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) engages in designing, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of photovoltaic solar power systems and solar modules.
It operates through the Modules and Systems segments. The Modules segment involves in the design, manufacture, and sale of cadmium telluride solar modules, which convert sunlight into electricity. The Systems segment offers development, construction, operation, and maintenance of photovoltaic solar power systems.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) recently announced that it has invested $11 million in efforts to revitalize American communities and bridge racial gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity. As part of the initiative, the company has purchased $10 million in Impact Notes from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and made a $1 million Transformational Deposit in the HOPE Credit Union.
“LISC and Hope Credit Union are doing a tremendous job at addressing inequality and, as America’s solar company, we’re proud to be supporting their mission. By working with companies like ours to reallocate cash holdings, they’re creating capital for underserved communities and powering sustainable and inclusive economic change,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “We hope that these investments, which are in line with our commitment to socially- and environmentally-responsible solar, will help communities across America.”
If you’re long this stock, then you’re liking how the stock has responded to the announcement. FSLR shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 5% to the upside on above average trading volume.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) managed to rope in revenues totaling $803.4M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 51%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels exceeding current liabilities ($1.5B against $669.3M).
Green Stream Holdings Inc (OTC US:GSFI) is quickly becoming one of the most interesting small-cap players in the solar space due to its unique and potentially disruptive model.
The company engages in the financing of solar greenhouses and solar farms through the use of rooftops of buildings, providing immediate tangible commercial value to the structures. The firm also provides access to solar and renewable energy to energy consumers through its community solar model.
Green Stream Holdings Inc (OTC US:GSFI) has been making waves recently, with its announcement that it would be entering the rapidly growing urban gardening sector with solar greenhouses dedicated primarily to rooftop farming, as well as its announcement that it is was moving forward with its previously announced project to convert old shipping/cargo containers into inexpensive greenhouses for urban and inner city neighborhoods.
However, just this morning, the company widened its approach, announcing that it is partnering with the government and its agencies to target yet another unmet customer base: those people/businesses that do not have the rooftop or other area on their property to house the company’s solar technology infrastructure.
CEO James DiPrima said: “The program is available to all New York utility customers – residential, business, nonprofit, and renters; Nothing on your home or office building; $0 upfront cost, $0 ongoing costs – ever; Instant 15% to 25% savings on your electric bill 25+ years of savings; Move to a location and the savings stay with you (as long as you move within the same utility zone); Optimally situated and fully maintained solar arrays for maximum power generation; and Internet and smart-phone monitoring to easily track performance and savings.”
Green Stream Holdings Inc (OTC US:GSFI) shares have been heavily shorted of late, according to data from OTCShortReport.com. That could have the stock primed for some potential squeeze action if the company’s recent announcement gets legs and points to the disruptive potential inherent in the community solar model.
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) bills itself as a company that engages in the design, manufacture and deliver of solar panels and systems. It operates through several major segments.
The Residential, Light Commercial segment refers to the sales of solar energy solutions, including sales to its third-party dealer network and resellers, storage solutions, cash and loan sales, and long-term leases directly to end customers. The Commercial and Industrial Solutions segment includes direct sales of turn-key engineering, procurement, and construction services and sales of energy under power purchase agreements.
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) recently announced that it has further delevered its balance sheet with the full retirement of its 2021 convertible bond.
“The full repayment of our 2021 convertible bond, in addition to the repayment of our CEDA loan in the second quarter, materially reduces recourse debt while improving our expected return on invested capital,” said Peter Faricy, CEO of SunPower. “We believe our balance sheet now provides us the business model flexibility to quickly capitalize on new growth opportunities including expanding our residential market footprint and enabling further investment to drive a superior customer experience.”
It will be interesting to see if the stock can break out of its recent sideways action. Over the past week, the stock is net flat, and looking for something new to spark things.
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) managed to rope in revenues totaling $306.4M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of -31.7%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels exceeding current liabilities ($549.4M against $500.7M).
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