What: Shares of solar manufacturer Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE: TSL) jumped 14.2% in December after getting good news about U.S. subsidies and an offer to take the company private.
So what: A lot of solar stocks were up big in December on news that the U.S. solar investment tax credit was going to be extended. The 30% investment tax credit should boost demand for solar panels and help hold prices steady or even move them higher in years to come.
But Trina Solar's big jump was mid-month after getting an offer of $11.60 per share to take the company private. The offer came from CEO Jifan Gao and Shanghai Xingsheng Equity Investment & Management Co., Ltd. and it was a non-binding offer, so we still don't know whether it will turn into a completed deal.
Now what: We don't know if the offer is legitimate or not, but with the ITC extension and expected global demand for solar expected to grow, I see a buyout as more likely than it was a month ago. Trina Solar has managed to stay profitable in a highly competitive solar market, and with panel prices stable, there should be potential for profit growth.
I wouldn't jump into shares simply because of the buyout offer, but if you're bullish on the solar industry (as I am) and want to own one of the better-positioned Chinese manufacturers, Trina Solar is a decent option. There should be growing demand over the next five years and even a buyout at the offer price of $11.60 would give investors a slight upside from where shares are trading in early 2016.