Why SunPower Corporation's Shares Popped 17% Today

Could President Donald Trump be driving a solar rally?

Travis Hoium
Travis Hoium
Jun 22, 2017 at 3:25PM
Energy, Materials, and Utilities

What happened

Shares of solar manufacturer SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) jumped as much as 16.9% Thursday after President Donald Trump seemed to push the idea of a solar wall with Mexico. At 1:50 p.m. EDT shares were still up 15.1% and holding big gains for the day. 

So what

Trump mentioned a solar boarder wall with Mexico at a campaign rally last night and that has sent some solar stocks sharply higher on Thursday. Elemental Energy estimated that a solar border wall will be about 1.4 gigawatts, or about SunPower's entire 2017 guidance of 1.3 GW to 1.6 GW.

SunPower solar installation in a field.

Image source: SunPower.

SunPower would be a logical source to supply the wall with solar panels because it's one of only two U.S. based manufacturers with that kind of capacity (First Solar is the other). But it also makes most of its panels in Asia and Mexico, so it wouldn't be "Made in America" solar unless a new plant is built here.

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Now what

The idea that Trump will be able to build the wall with Mexico or put solar on top of it may both be a bit far fetched in the current political environment. But the fact that Trump said anything positive about the solar industry is new and potentially notable. The solar industry provides more jobs in the U.S. than coal and is growing, so if Trump makes a political decision to look positively on the industry it could be good news for companies like SunPower. I'm not sure that's where Trump's thoughts are quite yet, but the idea of a solar wall and a more solar friendly administration has SunPower on the rise Thursday.