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solarpete

Solar Investor
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solarpete last won the day on October 3

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About solarpete

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    Colorado Springs

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  1. Solar News

    I think that's what we're all waiting to see. It's been a long time coming, to say the least.
  2. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

    Can't argue with any of that. Which is why I think trading instead of holding is more advantageous right now. We still have a fair amount of volatility that can be milked.
  3. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

    Hmm. Margins on just cell/module don't seem to be any better, though?
  4. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

    ???? I'd say the uneven money flow from projects is a disadvantage, as it makes it nearly impossible to predict EPS with any accuracy. The exact quarter in which a given project gets sold appears to be pretty random to me at this point. And it's always hindsight. That's why I don't think the market assigns a high PE to that portion of their revenues. Mind you, selling projects at random intervals is better than just puttering along with cell/module profits of a couple of dimes every quarter--but I wouldn't call it a "great advantage."
  5. Trading Solars

    Now you're talkin'! Trade 'em, cowboy!!
  6. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

    At least CSIQ is making a profit, so as long as they continue to do that (and not start losing money again on just the module business in those quarters when they're not selling plants), I don't see their stock price cratering to the single digits. I just don't see the catalyst to drive it significantly higher, either.
  7. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

    OK, my two cents' take on CSIQ's situation: I'd say they're fairly valued where they're at right now, in the $16-20 range, for the following reason. Their business breaks out into two main components: modules and projects. When they're not selling projects, they seem to be averaging about 20-30 cents EPS per quarter. At least they're not losing money on the straight module business, but that sure ain't setting the woods on fire. And I don't see that business improving. Yes, global demand will rise, so volumes will increase, but ASPs will most likely continue to decline. They're reducing costs as well, so the question becomes, how do lower costs and higher volumes offset lower selling prices? I don't have enough information to make a detailed calculation, but we're talking small percentage moves here, so I don't see any significant changes to EPS attributed to modules. That leaves projects, where they have much better margins. The problem with that business is, it's "lumpy," to use a technical term. You'll go for 2-3 quarters and not sell anything, then sell a large chunk. So you get a pleasant "earnings surprise" for that quarter. But for the next quarter, you're back to just your module business again, so unless you're selling plants every quarter (which they're not), your forecast for next quarter is usually pretty low. And the market is forward-looking, not backward. You can have the greatest earnings this quarter, but if your forecast for next quarter sucks (to use another technical term), you probably won't see much share price appreciation. And that's the situation CSIQ finds itself in. Their total annual earnings are probably in the $1 - $3 range nowadays. $1 just from the modules (call it 25 cents/quarter). Then $0 -$2 from projects, depending on what they sell and when they sell it. If they could consistently hit that $3 annual target, and if those earnings were fairly uniformly spread throughout the year, so investors would have some visibility into their earnings stream, they would qualify for a PE of 10-20, giving a share price of $30-$60. But we have very little insight into that project earnings stream--weren't they supposed to have sold at least some projects long ago by now? So they're given a PE well below 10. And that puts them in the price range where they are now. And frankly, I don't see the catalyst to change that anytime soon. If someone else does, please share, as I'd love to become a little more optimistic on the company.
  8. Trading Solars

    Let's be careful here. Yes, Klothilde definitely has a pro-FSLR viewpoint. But just because someone says something we don't want to hear, doesn't mean it isn't correct. It doesn't necessarily mean it is correct, either--it does mean we should pay attention and examine the argument, lest we get blinded by our own optimism. Look at her numbers, and decide for yourself if the argument is rational (based on logical conclusions from verified numbers) or not. Ask for help from others on this forum if you're not sure--that's why we're all here, and folks like Odyd and Explo are great at sharing calculations. As we all know by now, solars don't always go up in a straight line. In retrospect, I certainly wish I had listened to a few naysayers at certain times along the way. I may disagree with them, but ignoring them completely just because they say something I don't want to hear is a mistake I will not repeat again.
  9. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

    That's it in a nutshell! Do that, and happy days will be ahead.
  10. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

    Well, the others aren't up much, so you're not missing out on anything. I think you'll need to be patient until earnings. At that time, CSIQ should finally be able to hit the market over the head with the results of all this behind-the-scenes good news. Once the company can finally "show (investors) the money," they'll be hard to ignore. Of course, if earnings are still meager, that will be a huge problem. If all these developments aren't reaching the bottom line, that won't be a good sign. But I think that's unlikely. I still have positions from much higher prices, and I'm holding them fully expecting all these company maneuvers to eventually pay off. Just not today or tomorrow.
  11. Agreed. Never trust a Wall Street banker/broker/underwriter. Heck, half the time they don't even put their own clients' best interests before those of their firm (remember Goldman Sacks hyping bad mortgages to their clients while shorting them in their own trading--and I'm sure they weren't the only ones).
  12. Solar News

    Interesting. If widely adopted, this should also eliminate differences in production cost due to labor--which in turn should eliminate any rationale for tariffs. Of course, we're talking years, if not a decade, to have this become widespread.
  13. Trading Solars

    That's what I've been telling myself for 5+ years now....
  14. Trading Solars

    Yes, all the solars I follow (FSLR, CSIQ, JKS, RUN, JASO) are just meandering fairly aimlessly, and mostly on low volume. I'm pretty sure it's the tariff question that's causing the lack of interest. Once that question is resolved, one way or another, and we get some earnings numbers, a new direction should be established. What that will be, and for whom--those are the questions....
  15. Solar News

    I agree that the technology has made phenomenal strides, and that trend is likely to continue. Two thoughts, though, on what will likely continue to hold back the industry from fulfilling investors' dreams, at least in the near term: 1. While the cost of PV generation has fallen by orders of magnitude over the last few decades, storage continues to be an issue. When we make the same kinds of breakthroughs in price for storage, THEN renewables in general will truly become unstoppable. We're making progress, and lithium-ion technology has come a long way, but we're not there yet. (An alternative is a much greater connection of geographically separated grids. If the sun isn't shining at your location, you can either draw from storage or get electricity from where the sun IS shining. And connecting geographically separate regions also makes each region much more reliable and less prone to failure, as the separate regions serve as backups for each other. But that type of connectivity takes a long time to achieve at the scale required, and it takes significant investment from the utilities involved. Plus, the grids involved may cross national boundaries, making the coordination involved even more complicated. So, it's another great idea that's going to take a long time to implement in practice.) 2. As you note, Robert, demand has already skyrocketed compared to years past, but margins have actually fallen, and are now razor-thin for many companies. So greater demand does not automatically translate to greater profits. And the market only cares about profits. Yieldcos partnering with manufacturers and project builders are an interesting possibility, but so far they're off to a rough start. So right now, even with all the increase in global demand so far, no solar company has demonstrated a business model leading to both substantial and sustained profits. Instead, we've had a series of boom-bust cycles, with any periods of significant profits being relatively short-lived. I'm not convinced we've seen the last of those times. So I agree the long-term trend is positive, but for the next several years at least, I still think the way to profit from solar is to trade the heck out of it. "Buy the dips and sell the rips." Buy and hold is still premature, in my view. Solarpete
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