This Week in Solar

Solar stocks traded mostly higher this past week as we move into earnings season. SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY  ) led the industry after announcing a crowd-funding platform, and there's also a lot of optimism that margins will rise enough for strong solar manufacturers to be profitable this year.

SCTY Total Return Price Chart

SCTY Total Return Price data by YCharts

Here are the highlights from the week in solar.

SolarCity looks to crowd-funding for financing
SolarCity continues to open new financing sources, and just two months after completing the first distributed solar securitization deal, it's looking to get into crowd funding. The company announced that it will develop an online platform that will allow individuals, small businesses, and other investors to participate in solar by providing debt to a pool of solar assets.

Right now, SolarCity is short on details of how the platform will work, how products will be structured, or who exactly can participate. The product is intended to broaden the number of people participating in solar and expand the pool of investors SolarCity can draw financing from. Expect the marketplace to be opened in the first half of the year. At that point we'll know more about whether this will help the company lower its cost of capital, which is how this product could really add value to shareholders.

Yingli predicts a profit
Yingli Green Energy
's (NYSE: YGE  ) management predicted it could make a profit by the second quarter of this year. The company has struggled making enough money to pay for $2.6 billion in debt and still make a profit, but the industry is turning a corner, and manufacturers are seeing margins rise.  

If Yingli can make a profit, it's likely that most top-tier Chinese manufacturers will also make money in 2014. The bigger challenge will be having enough money to invest in the next generation of solar manufacturing capacity, but making a profit is a step in the right direction.

News and notes
Here are some other news items from around the industry that weren't big headlines.

  • Hanwha SolarOne (NASDAQ: HSOL  ) signed a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai HuiTianRan Investment Holding Group to develop projects in China. The company's modules would be used in 700 MW of power plant projects and potentially provide other services as well. A final agreement is expected in the next 60 days.  
  • ReneSola (NYSE: SOL  ) said it will provide 32 MW of modules to Isolux Corsan Servicios for power plants in the U.K.  
  • Another financial company jumped into solar this week, when John Hancock Life Insurance said it is joining Libra Group in a $40 million solar equity fund. Having more companies interested in financing solar will bring costs down for the industry and help push demand higher.

Check fool.com for more solar coverage, especially as companies begin announcing earnings in the next few weeks.

A great stock pick for your portfolio
Where should you be putting money in a year when values are hard to find? The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

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.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 2800936, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/16/2014 1:30:38 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement