Suntech and Krannich in Solar Ties - Analyst Blog

Zacks Investment Research
Posted: May 16, 2012 1:00 PM
Suntech and Krannich in Solar Ties - Analyst Blog

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP) has entered into an agreement with Krannich Solar under which the former will supply 120 megawatts of solar panels in 2012. Krannich Solar is one of the top-five photovoltaic systems providers in Europe. It is a leading value added distributor of complete systems, components and pre-packaged systems. The two companies have been in partnership since 2007.

Per the agreement, the companies will continue to work together to provide high quality solar systems for resellers and installers in Europe and Australia.

According to European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), the cumulative global installed PV capacity stood at almost 67.4 GW at the end of 2011, compared to only 39.7 GW at the end of 2010. The agency reports that almost 21 GW of this growth occurred in Europe. Moreover, the European Union's goal of a 20% share of renewable sources in the energy basket by 2020 will keep the flow of new projects going.

In Australia, the solar industry is driven by several regulatory initiatives that support the installation of solar PV modules in both rooftop and free-field applications, including the federal government’s nationwide Renewable Energy Target, which has set a renewable energy goal for Australia of 20% by 2020. Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), both established in 2011, will work towards this goal effective 2012.

Global demand for solar panels grew by about 40% in 2011. The U.S. solar industry installed a record number of panels in 2011, more than doubling the 2010 number. In April 2012, Suntech Power supplied 3.4 megawatts of solar panels for a solar installation at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California.

Suntech is thus seen to be active worldwide, with increasing megawatts shipped, capitalizing on the ongoing trend towards renewables. Other positives include higher conversion efficiency through its Pluto technology-enabled modules, the subsidy program in China and improving operating efficiencies. However, these catalysts are overshadowed by fears of tepid module demand in Europe, rising competition, the volatile euro and the financial stability of its customers.

The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

The company expects to release first quarter 2012 results on May 23, 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for first quarter and fiscal 2012 are currently at a loss of 48 cents and $1.26 per share, respectively. A close peer First Solar Inc. (FSLR) recently reported first quarter results. Earnings fell below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents by 56 cents to digest an adjusted loss of 8 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. It also came in below the year-ago quarterly EPS of $1.33.

FIRST SOLAR INC (FSLR): Free Stock Analysis Report
SUNTECH PWR HLD (STP): Free Stock Analysis Report
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