Cheap Panels Coming

FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/?mod=BOL_hpp_blog_techtrader

Jun 13, 2011
5:08 PM First Solar: Credit Suisse Sees Threat From China Poly Glut
Posted by Tiernan Ray

Credit Suisse solar energy technology analyst Satya Kumar today cut his price target on shares of First Solar (FSLR) to $100 from $115, and reiterated a Neutral rating, based on his expectation that a build-up of polysilicon production in China will lead to lower silicon-based solar panels, which will in turn put pricing pressure on First Solar.

Global solar panel won’t absorb all of China’s polysilicon product unless that demand swells to 30 gigawatts this year, something he sees unlikely, or unless prices fall dramatically, perhaps as low as $1 per watt for Chinese-produced panels.

“We expect First Solar’s competition with China-based c-Si companies to enter a more aggressive phase of the next six months, writes Kumar.

“Tier 1 poly companies are expanding capacity so much faster relative to the size of the overall solar market that we now believe that a majority of viable China c-Si supply will become competitive with First Solar over the next 12 months.”

Kumar cut his 2011 EPS estimate for First Solar to $9 from $9.51; the Street is at $9.41.

Next year, Trina Solar (TSL) could become price-competitive than First Solar, he thinks, based on an “internal panel cost” for Trina of 88 cents per watt, versus 69 cents for First Solar, given that he thinks TSL has a 20 cent-per-watt “pricing premium due to higher efficiency.”

Over the long term, as polysilicon panel prices bottom out, First Solar may regain the lead, writes Kumar, and “we still believe thin film offers a greater cost reduction potential than c-Si.”

Comments

  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Always happens just after I buy panels :cry:
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Be advised that most such articles are more about manipulating stock prices than actual news of impending market prices. The folks who write and read Barrons are very much interested in short-selling and such, and not so much so in what you or I can buy a panel for.

    Until you see it in the stores, it's pure speculation.
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    Be advised that most such articles are more about manipulating stock prices than actual news of impending market prices. The folks who write and read Barrons are very much interested in short-selling and such, and not so much so in what you or I can buy a panel for.

    Until you see it in the stores, it's pure speculation.

    I wondered why this got moved to hype and scams section.

    I disagree. It's not an attempt to manipulate a price. It is simply a comment on the glut of polysilicon--see MEMC for a polysilicon supplier, symbol WFR, whose stock is way down on the fundamentals of the industry. China has a glut, silicon prices drop, panels in China get cheaper to produce. No conspiracy.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Never said there was a conspiracy. This is economics and stock speculation is a part of it.

    But we deal with retail reality around here, which is often a lot different than what the traders deal with. Often manufacturers hold the line on their prices and just don't sell panels because everyone is expecting this glut to suddenly cause Kyocera 135's to drop to $0.50 per Watt. But it doesn't happen, does it? Big difference in no-name, non UL approved, buy-it-by-the-container-load Chinese PolyGlut Panels and name-brand, UL listed, how-many-do-you-need retail sales.
  • The Only SargeThe Only Sarge Solar Expert Posts: 164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    And in that vein...
    The price of Kyocera 135 watt panels has dropped about $70 bucks each in the past 7-8 months.
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Here is real data on a company having lower profits due to price pressures on panels

    Shares of China-based solar products company ReneSola are trading lower Wednesday morning after Macquarie USA analyst Kelly Dougherty cut his rating on the stock to Neutral from Outperform.

    The analyst writes in a research note that the downgrade reflects recent and ongoing price pressures, spurring reduced financial estimates. Dougherty says that he had expected lower prices in the second half, but that they came much faster than expected, with “little relief in sight.”

    While he says the stock is reasonably priced at 8x 2012 estimated profits, he says there is no catalyst to take the stock higher, “especially as spot wafer prices fall further.”

    He slashed his 2011 EPS estimate to 96 cents, from $1.62.

    SOL this morning is down 26 cents, or 4.6%, to $5.36.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Just remember we are not a stock discussion forum. A little bit is fine--But we don't want to manage a investment site (solar or otherwise). It can be difficult to moderate as none of us are in the brokerage business and we could start attracting penny stock manipulators.

    -Bill "Moderator" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    i think pv prices will drop a bit more myself based on scuttlebutt, however, it makes little difference when gas prices force shippers to raise their prices to ship.

    bill is right that we aren't big on the stock market stuff, but it seems we know enough to know we end up paying more somehow no matter what.:grr
  • SolarLurkerSolarLurker Solar Expert Posts: 122 ✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    I think that insatlling pv is a better investment than buying a solar companies stock. China's cheap manufacturing costs, cheap labor, low taxes, and lax envirometal over site, will make it very difficult for other companies to compete.

    Most analysts don't really understand the solar market or the technology.
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    I wasn't promoting stocks here, just sharing changes in the fundamentals that will be driving down prices worldwide.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    I was intending a friendly reminder that we are not a stock market discussion forum and I wanted to avoid becoming one (i.e., daily, hourly discussions of stock pricing, earnings ratios, etc.). It can become a nightmare for moderation.

    Don't worry.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    But we deal with retail reality around here, which is often a lot different than what the traders deal with. Often manufacturers hold the line on their prices and just don't sell panels because everyone is expecting this glut to suddenly cause Kyocera 135's to drop to $0.50 per Watt. But it doesn't happen, does it? Big difference in no-name, non UL approved, buy-it-by-the-container-load Chinese PolyGlut Panels and name-brand, UL listed, how-many-do-you-need retail sales.

    Just got an e-mail from Ontility for Sanyo panels starting at $1.75/watt. That's a big drop in pricing for what many consider the best panels. Pricing pressure is a reality.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    Fatawan wrote: »
    Just got an e-mail from Ontility for Sanyo panels starting at $1.75/watt. That's a big drop in pricing for what many consider the best panels. Pricing pressure is a reality.

    It can also be imaginary or just never show up at the retail level.
    If you've ever read through the RSS news feed segment of the forum you'll see it is full of amazing breakthroughs in technology that will drastically reduce panel costs, increase production, re-invent the wheel, and make the world spin backward. Most of it is pure PR (a close relative of BS). Lots of announcements about finances, stock prices, production info. All of it so well insulated from the retail level that it is utterly meaningless.

    But when you see prices drop for real, we want to know. :D
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    But when you see prices drop for real, we want to know. :D

    I paid about $2.50/watt for my Sanyo panels after some hard bargaining only a month or so ago. I thought I did well until I saw this ad today.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    Fatawan wrote: »
    I paid about $2.50/watt for my Sanyo panels after some hard bargaining only a month or so ago. I thought I did well until I saw this ad today.

    Compared to what they charge here even now in Bring Cash, Canada you did great. :D
    When I bought my Sharp 175's in 2002 it was more like $5.70 per Watt. :cry:
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    It can also be imaginary or just never show up at the retail level.

    But when you see prices drop for real, we want to know. :D
    I assume it's real - Ontility appears to be a wholesaler so if they send out an email advertising $1.75/watt, you've got to assume they can get the product at that price.

    The real questions are: Which Sanyo panels are these and how much do you have to order to get that price?
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    More info out about a continued slide in prices:

    Solar prices continue to slide.

    That’s the heart of a cautious call on the sector this morning by Jefferies solar analyst Jesse Pichel.

    The analyst notes that solar panel prices were below expectations at the Intersolar conference in Munich in June, “reducing investor sentiment” and pressuring solar stock prices. Next week, the industry gathers in San Francisco for Intersolar North America, and he thinks the same think is going to happen again.

    “Lower wafer input costs have accelerated price declines and the upcoming Intersolar North America conference … will again erode sentiment.” he writes, adding that the stocks in the solar group “will remain volatile until a pricing floor is witnessed, likely in Q4.”

    Adds Pichel: “Under a backdrop of macro concerns including the EU and Euro, solar company fundamentals and stocks will languish near term as investors realize pricing has not bottomed and as Street estimates adjust lower. While leading OEMs will continue to make money and win share, solar stocks will likely not trade higher in a declining price environment.”
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Translation: Bad time to buy solar stocks - but a good time to look for great deals on solar panels.
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Just got quoted $1.58/w wholesale for over 10kW of Trina modules!
  • fixerfixer Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Exactly when will we be able to buy these wonderful First Solar $1 a watt panels they were talking about 5 years ago?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    fixer wrote: »
    Exactly when will we be able to buy these wonderful First Solar $1 a watt panels they were talking about 5 years ago?

    why bother with the amorphous pvs when the crystalline pvs are more efficient and they are coming way down in price? they sat on their $1/w pv promise for too long.
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming

    Some analysts are saying that crystalline PV is expected to get to $1/watt wholesale by 2012...
  • fixerfixer Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Cheap Panels Coming
    niel wrote: »
    why bother with the amorphous pvs when the crystalline pvs are more efficient and they are coming way down in price? they sat on their $1/w pv promise for too long.
    I agree. I remember something about them having a big order from Germany or something. Nice of them to ship the things out of this country when we need them here. They could have reserved a percentage for us!
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