solarpete

Solar Investor
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Everything posted by solarpete

  1. Good point. That's usually my downfall--I buy too much, too early. You once opined CSIQ could drop below 10--I wouldn't rule that out.
  2. Agreed--I'm looking at it as a trading vehicle only as well. It was bouncing around quite a bit a couple of months ago, which made it suitable for trading. But it's been in an extended downtrend for a while now, which even good earnings did not reverse.
  3. Did you catch the analyst's "success rate"? 44%. Worse than flipping a coin. I'm beginning to think I'm in the wrong business....
  4. Good question! I for one don't think it's a terrible investment (I have some), but it's not getting the respect it should. They're making money, blew away earnings estimates last quarter, and even guided to continued growth next year--but because the rate of that growth is now seen to be 20%, instead of 100%+, they sold off along with everyone else. With a trailing P/E under 6, and a forward P/E lower than that, they should be a good buy right now. Beats me how RUN trades below 5, but FSLR is worth 30 (well, 29 now)....
  5. Not sure there's much to say. Until we see ASPs stabilize, manufacturers are going to struggle. Installers should be doing better, but only Sunrun appears to be making any money, and the market (well, the Motley Fool, anyway) hates their continued reliance on leases.
  6. Yup, saw that. The one bright spot. Will wait a few days to see where the bottom is, then may buy a trading position. (Although JKS is dropping as well--depending on how low they go, I may use them for that trading stake instead.)
  7. That's what we all thought about the previous glut. Didn't happen then. Makes me very nervous that it won't happen now either.
  8. The problem isn't demand, despite the word "glut" still being used frequently. JKS certainly isn't seeing a glut, at least not for its products. The problem is falling margins, requiring ever-increasing shipment volumes to maintain the same level of profit. Usually, as shipments rise, so do profits. Not so for this industry. That trend has to eventually change--to use a calculus analogy, you can't reach the limit of infinite shipments with infinitesimal profits per unit shipped. The question becomes, what happens to each individual company as we approach that limit? Do they go under, or do they survive and emerge into a new, stable balance between ASPs and costs? And when does this happen?
  9. Good analysis. Thanks! ASPs dropping by 28% in one year--ouch! As long as ASPs were high and costs were high, dropping ASPs could be mitigated by lowering costs. But now that both ASPs and costs are quite low, do you have any insights on how much further can costs be lowered?
  10. Yes, I hold CSIQ, both a position from a much higher price and a trading position from the mid-15s (where I thought the bottom was a few months ago). If it drops after ER, I'll likely buy another trading position, as long as their guidance isn't dismal. I agree the market isn't always rational. But in this case, with expectations being negative, I think a drop before ER is logical. (It's also why I'm not buying more before ER. We might see a double whammy--a drop before ER based on poor expectations, and a further drop after ER if those expectations are confirmed.)
  11. I don't know. I just know you're pretty negative on all manufacturers right now, and since you're a bona fide expert on the industry, I expect analysts and knowledgeable traders to share your views (that is, you all come to more or less the same conclusions). So I'm surprised that you're surprised that CSIQ sells off prior to its ER, given the poor expectations.
  12. In other words, no change from current trends? Manufacturers to continue to barely break even, needing huge volume because of razor-thin margins? Great... (sarcasm)
  13. I thought you're expecting them to report lousy numbers? If others think the same, isn't this drop expected?
  14. It's been a few years since I played JASO, but if memory serves, they usually sold off on earnings day. Maybe that's changed in recent history?
  15. It's true that without the buyout, TSL would likely be much lower--but they would also have the potential to rebound to the mid-teens and higher. Indeed, management must be pretty certain that's where they're headed, or they wouldn't have offered a buyout in the first place.
  16. Yeah, can't say I'm really happy about that. Seems company management shouldn't be rewarded for tanking the stock price through poor management, then reaping the benefits of that with a low-ball (compared to previous prices) takeout offer that leaves earlier investors with losses. Not sure you could outlaw it, though.
  17. It will help, in any case. We'll see soon enough what 1Q17 brings in terms of profit or loss--the quarter is nearly over already. One early indicator may be when companies announce their earnings reports--the pattern for many seems to be report early in the period if you have good news, wait if it's bad. Or maybe that's just my perception?
  18. Precisely--and that's why I think JKS will remain profitable even in 1Q17. They guided for expanded shipments. If you're selling at a loss just to maintain market share, you'd sell the bare minimum amount necessary to maintain your market position. You wouldn't expand shipments to record levels. Their shipment volume guidance indicates they've run the numbers (meaning they have an expected selling price) and concluded expansion is the proper course. It just doesn't make sense to me they'd do that when expecting to operate at a loss during that time.
  19. Odyd, Thanks for that info! Interesting--if I understand you correctly, you're saying JKS will be able to command somewhat higher ASPs in the future due to their shift to PERC mono cells. So that bodes well for 2018. Good to know there's a ray of hope out there. That leaves the concern for 2017. But ASPs already crashed in 4Q16--and JKS still made a buck a share! That's why I find it hard to believe they'll have a loss anytime in 2017. From what I read, ASPs crashed by a significant percentage (20% or more? I don't remember the exact number, and can't find it quickly). But JKS profits declined by only 20%, if I read the Yahoo numbers correctly (which I'm not sure of--Yahoo reports a 4Q16 profit of around 80 cents, which is neither the 64c GAAP nor the $1.04 non-GAAP number reported in the earnings release, so I have no idea what Yahoo is looking at). Even if ASPs decline a further penny or two, that's a much smaller move than what happened in 4Q16. JKS obviously has the ability to bring their costs down rapidly (else the ASP crash would have caused a much larger drop in profit). So given their past performance, another small ASP move down should not suddenly wipe out all their profits. But I completely agree now is not the time to build positions in manufacturers. Small trading lots, yes, but not large positions for the future. Still too much uncertainty. Pete
  20. I wouldn't put too much faith in insider selling as a predictor--as I'm sure you know, insiders sell all the time for various reasons (taxes, need money for something else, etc.). So insider selling is not necessarily an indicator that said insiders expect stock price deterioration. A better indicator is insider BUYING--as opposed to selling, there's only one reason an insider would plunk down extra cash (not stock option grants) to buy their company stock--they expect it to go up. Lack of FSLR insider buying would indicate company execs expect any recovery to be slow at best.
  21. Good analysis--thanks! You're right in that JKS didn't say they were going to be profitable--but they didn't say they wouldn't be, either. They simply follow the rule the other CNs do as well--they guide shipments, but not margins or earnings. They guided 2GW for Q1 shipments. I just can't believe they would commit to that large a volume without having run the numbers beforehand. I see why you are concerned, and I have no firm numbers to refute your logic. But your conclusion is not that they will definitely not have a profit--it's that they may have none. I think that's unlikely for two reasons. First, as you point out, they are a low-ASP seller, so they have experience squeezing profits out of that situation--it's nothing new to them. Second, I think they'd be crazy to commit to a record shipping volume knowing it will produce no profit. If they had guided for reduced shipments, I'd be more pessimistic. In any case, I certainly don't plan to put too many eggs into the JKS basket, and I thank you for the word of caution. If there's one thing we've all learned over the last few years, it's that you can't be too careful in solar land.
  22. I'm just wondering if your prognostications are too pessimistic. JKS just made $1/share in 4Q16, when ASPs collapsed, and they don't see ASPs collapsing further. If they can make good money in 4Q16, and raise their shipment guidance for 1Q17, I find it hard to believe they anticipate losing money. Not sure about CSIQ--will have to see what their earnings report shows.
  23. So do you think everyone will keep producing at a loss just to maintain market share?
  24. While I share your concern about expansion in the face of continuing boom-bust cycles, I don't know about "regardless of market conditions." For them to guide that amount of shipments must mean they already have most of those orders lined up--which means that for them, at least, market conditions are booming. The question becomes, for how long, and more importantly, at what margins?
  25. I'm holding half of my portfolio to get even (purchased at much higher prices, so I'll be holding for a while), and trading the other half to reduce the losses in the meantime. It's slow going, but I am gradually making progress (and at least not losing any more in the meantime).