China Could Drive Huge Profits for Solar Stocks

If China installed 10-12 GW of solar last year like experts are predicting a trickle of profits in the solar industry may become a waterfall.

Jan 31, 2014 at 1:07PM

The solar industry turned a corner in 2013 when it comes finances and the fourth quarter may turn a trickle of profits into a waterfall. Early estimate have China installing 10-12 GW of solar in 2013, more than the former record of 8 GW in Germany, and as much as two-thirds of the installations may have come in the fourth quarter. 

There are a number of ways to play it but if these reports are correct then JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL), and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) will all be direct beneficiaries from the increased demand. 

The rising tide will also help SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), which doesn't have much exposure to China but has been competing with Chinese manufacturers in dumping modules into markets like Europe and the U.S., where the company does have significant share. 

It'll also be interesting to see the impact on SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), which pays for modules produced in China. A penny or two increase in cost per watt wouldn't be the end of the world but a bigger increase will eat into margins. 

Erin Miller sat down with solar analyst Travis Hoium to get his thoughts on the figures out of China and where investors will see an impact. 

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Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of SunPower and personally owns shares and has the following options: long January 2015 $5 calls, long January 2015 $7 calls, long January 2015 $15 calls, long January 2015 $25 calls, and long January 2015 $40 calls. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of SolarCity. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

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