First Solar Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Most of the solar sector jumped on news that the Obama administration is committed to continue supporting loans for clean-energy companies, despite the risks. Shares of First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR  ) , in particular, surged 11% before closing up 6%.

So what: It's a big step for the feds in the wake of the scandal at Solyndra. But it's also probably the right move if the long-term goal is reducing dependence on fossil fuel alternatives. Falling panel prices have cut into company profits even as U.S. solar installations have doubled over the past year, The Associated Press reported.

Now what: Judging by today's action, investors consider First Solar to be one of the likely long-term winners. Others to close up big today were Chinese operators JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO  ) and LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK  ) , both rallying more than 10%. Would you buy shares of any of these three stocks at current prices? Do you prefer one to the others? Please weigh in using the comments box below.

Interested in more info on First Solar? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of First Solar. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of First Solar. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2011, at 7:00 PM, thanksobama wrote:

    Id like to believe in JASO, however I am far from convinced....I think 2 more quarters will determine who is viable and who is not. All solars have taken a massive haircut. I do believe it is an important industry, however, the problems in Europe and even the US are probably going to affect demand for these companies products and governments have bigger problems than just empowering solar companies. It was refreshing to read there may be an uptick in Germany in Q3/Q4 (ill believe it when I see it). JASO is sitting on quite a bit of cash which is a huge plus and may enable it to ride out the storm (coupled with 2011 being booked with large contracts), however ASP are way down and their margins were horrendous last Q. IF...big IF, they can improve margins even into the high single digits somehow I think this could be a great stock, possibly a 5 bagger from here. There are so many factors weighing on these stocks its just hard to tell and way too much manipulation. It would be great if they could announce something. JASO has been really quiet.I hope they repurchased as much stock as possible or all at 2.00 or less level. Be nice to see some new contracts or some good news. How will Silver Age holdings affect this stock if ? Will thye be able to reduce costs in house and get back to positive margins. The price is ridiculous considering their cash on hand. So, we will see. I am as confused as the next person I guess...its hard to even write a coherent paragraph about solar today.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2011, at 9:08 PM, thementant wrote:

    This guy obviously works for JASO. Mine the data and it is apparent that FSLR is the only truly viable solar manufacturer of the 3 mentioned.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2011, at 5:21 AM, Yachts2 wrote:

    FSLR is definitely NOT only viable manufacturer, its really shortsighted to say that.

    Company's like Trina solar, Ja solar, Canadian solar etc Chinese company's are doing quite well in production as well R&D, it is highly doubtful that one company would dominate pane production, unless something insanely revolutionary will happen but that is as likely as cold fusion.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2011, at 9:20 AM, 1955lyric wrote:

    I like JASO, I bought JASO and YGE for my first 2 trades.

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