4 Solar Stocks Hotter Than SolarCity

It was another week of scorching gains for many solar-energy stocks. SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY  ) has led the way, hitting another new high in tacking on another 8% gain on the week.

The stateside installer of solar-energy systems has seen its stock more than quadruple this year, making it one of the market's hottest stocks. Now we're starting to see component makers start to take off.

It may seem an odd time for a rally in solar. China and Europe -- two markets that were all over alternative energy when before the global economy slipped -- have been slow to back new solar projects. We're also seeing oil and other energy prices weaken, and it's usually a spike in energy that forces companies and consumers to consider the costly solar-energy installations that pay off over time.

However, it was a hot week for solar energy, and if you think SolarCity had a strong week, check out these four more established bellwethers that scored even better gains.

Company

May 24

Weekly Gain

My Watchlist

JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO  )

$8.03

43%

Add

JinkoSolar (NYSE: JKS  )

$8.75

16%

Add

Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE  )

$3.19

16%

Add

Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL  )

$6.17

10%

Add

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

What exactly is going on here? Well, JA Solar took off after a blowout quarterly report. Revenue of $270 million for the period was well ahead of the $226 million the pros were targeting. JA Solar also came through with a much smaller deficit than analysts were expecting.

The company also shored up its finances by paying off $119 million in convertible notes this month, inspiring at least one worrywart on Wall Street to change its tune. RBC Capital is boosting its price target on JA Solar from $1 to $8.

When a solar-energy company posts a positive surprise, it benefits peers that will be reporting later, and that helps explain the double-digit percentage gains at the three other winners that will stepping up with fresh financials in the coming days.

Trina and Yingli will report quarterly results on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The market isn't holding out for great performances here. Trina and Yingli are expected to post widening quarterly deficits with double-digit percentage declines in revenue. However, JA Solar's robust report suggests that there may be some upside surprises in those dreary outlooks.

We also saw JinkoSolar come through with a 16% pop on the week. Jinko doesn't report until next week, and it's expected to be further along on the comeback trail. Wall Street sees the company losing half as much as it did a year earlier on an 18% uptick in revenue.

The fundamentals for a solar rebound may not be entirely in place. Strength at one photovoltaic specialist won't necessarily bode well for all of its peers, especially when many observers see an inevitable shakeout taking place if profitability doesn't return soon.

However, for now, solar is hot again.

Sunny side up
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