3 Reasons Why Chinese Solar Stocks Are Still a Buy

The short term may be cloudy, but the long term still looks bright for these Chinese solar companies.

Jul 5, 2014 at 2:48PM

Over the past decade and half, the Middle Kingdom has fulfilled its potential -- many Western companies from Caterpillar to Yum! Brands have made fortunes in China as Chinese GDP per capita increased six-fold.

Domestic Chinese companies haven't done bad themselves. Chinese Internet companies Tencent and Alibaba are as big as any of the West's leading Internet companies. Likewise, the Chinese solar industry has done well. Chinese solar companies now produce the lion's share of the world's solar panels.

But Chinese solar stocks such as JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL), and Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) have suffered lately as the U.S. Commerce Department has levied tariffs on imported Chinese solar panels. The tariffs have caused a dip in Chinese solar share prices, which have lagged their U.S. counterparts.  

Despite the dip, here are three reasons why Chinese solar companies are still worth buying.

A huge market 
China has a pollution problem. The nation depends too much on dirty coal and it is stifling the environment. As a response, the Chinese government has declared war on pollution. China's war on pollution will undoubtedly help solar. Chinese solar demand should be higher than American solar demand because China does not have the luxury of cheap unconventional natural gas. 

More domestic demand should translate to more revenue and profit for Chinese solar companies.  

Innovation in China
China has the image of being a low-cost commodity producer. This image is a fair one given that China has produced many low value added products over the past decade. But like South Korea and Japan before it, China is climbing the value chain as it builds up tacit knowledge and core competencies. Like Chinese Internet companies, Chinese solar companies may one day operate along the technological frontier and add their own innovation.

If this happens, leading Chinese solar companies may see their bottom lines grow significantly.

Unofficial government winners 
In the West, it is the market that decides whether a company becomes a winner. It is, specifically, the consumer who decides whether to buy a company's product and it is the investor who decides whether to invest in a company. If one or the other is lacking, a company will most likely not be a winner. 

In China, the government unofficially selects the winners by granting them generous state bank credit lines. The credit lines provide the winners with cheap growth capital that other companies don't have. The credit lines are also a competitive advantage in that the Chinese government's stamp of approval allows those winners to win more business from consumers.

By buying the Chinese government's chosen winners, investors have a better chance of picking the right winners. 

The bottom line
After the Chinese reserve takeover scandals of 2011, many investors are understandably skeptical of Chinese companies. Their caution is warranted. Conservative investors should not invest in Chinese solar companies at all. 

But for investors with an appetite for risk, shares of Chinese solar companies do represent a great opportunity. China is a huge market with an urgent need. Solar is in the early innings and there will undoubtedly be several Chinese solar winners.

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Jay Yao has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

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