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That is very odd situation with the short interest. All the companies, except TSL and FSLR, returned to their short interest levels, that were in Spring 2011. But for TSL, the short position roughly tripled since Spring 2011. I wonder what is going on there, especially with such a big chunk of TSL shares owned by institutions. Maybe they are preparing for a short squeeze on the way up. Similar to what they did with the long squeeze on the way down.

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Curious as to what some of you folks who have had more time to study the situation, facts and probabilities of the solar 11. What are your thoughts on who performs best when coming out of this hideous downturn. I know that it is a question mark as to when but imagine that we here believe it will happen and the markets tend to look ahead. I currently own TSL, JKS and CSIQ for various reasons. Very brief thoughts: Despite the negativity towards TSL they historically have done well coming out of a down cycle so we will see what management does and how sentiment treats them. With CSIQ, I like the project business and the fact they have that North American pretense as far as "manufacturing" goes. With JKS I like the low float and the historical performance aside from the pollution incident. I would think all of these will be survivors. I did get lucky for once and sold LDK during the time that their share price held up while others crashed. That money went from LDK at $6.00 or so and into CSIQ in the $2's.

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May I remind what happened this time last year and where we ended up at the year end??? The supply is still double the demand so unless something dramatic happened (mergers, bankruptcies or extra 30 GW magically appear), we are exactly where we were last year. Q4'12 is going to suck and so will Q1'13. And that's as far as my crystal ball can see. Some reports I've been reading they are looking at 2015-2016 now when we will reach balance of supply and demand. And god help us if that is true. IMO what solar needs is Cap and Trade. You put a massive penalty on big polluters and allow them to trade carbon emissions and solar will shine IMO. And we don't need subsidies if they start putting a $$$ amount on carbon emissions. That is what solar needs IMO.

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I think you listed 3 survival candidates. Two slow bleeders and one that can take a lot. One of them is getting an adrenalin (Ontario FIT v1.0) shot 2013. JKS is without doubt the best share holder capital preserver the last 2 years. Low cash balance, low inventory and spot market procurement strategy has saved them a lot of interest and carrying costs. They also have newer equipment and capacity aligned with their current business volume saving them manufacturing costs. Looking at the daily form JKS would be the pick. Looking at what's pending (but not eternal recurrent), CSIQ is the pick. Looking at who won once and is resilient (but tired) TSL is the pick. Personally I think this is an exceptional phase of extremely high margins in the module and BOS verticals and the more normal scenario is that these two are low margin highly competitive businesses serving from an integration perspective to secure revenue from a module brand or a project pipeline. The module brand helps securing your poly sales if you will. I would therefore like those 3 to acquire some quality upstream business on the cheap now as China is forcing consilidation. If you make the effort to sell a module, why not let that include selling poly, wafers and cells you've made instead of letting your suppliers getting that margin piece (assuming you have the competence to do it equally efficient as your supplier). As the companies look today I think SOL has the best probability of collecting the spoils when the dust settles. The are involved in the whole value-chain from polysilicon and diamond wires and similar raw material to ingot, wafers, cells, modules, inverters, AC kits, project development and power sales and they are some of the most compentent players in several of those verticals with and very good shipment and cost reduction momentum going on. No other solar 11 has the same R&D budget as they and they've had multiple payoffs from that the past year that will capitalize coming years.

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Yes, I know there are risks, great risks and also know that there are no time-tables yet feel it is worth a discussion. Cap and Trade would be great but we now have PV affordability like at no other time and there are new markets opening up everywhere. I also think that the project business is vastly important globally and that requires panels from makers who are perceived to be survivors for bankability reasons. As you somewhat alluded to, some of the naysayers, polluters and the fossil fuel industries will one day see the light when greed begins to fuel alt energy. And lastly, sadly and tragically global warming is on our side. Whenever this normalizes somewhat, the first hint of one of these 11 turning a profit again would be huge just as in 2009. I of course hope for a less than doomsday scenario or we are all indeed screwed.

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As the companies look today I think SOL has the best probability of collecting the spoils when the dust settles. The are involved in the whole value-chain from polysilicon and diamond wires and similar raw material to ingot, wafers, cells, modules, inverters, AC kits, project development and power sales and they are some of the most compentent players in several of those verticals with and very good shipment and cost reduction momentum going on. No other solar 11 has the same R&D budget as they and they've had multiple payoffs from that the past year that will capitalize coming years.

I agree that SOL is a survivor candidate. For the result of the R&D you can look at for example the interview done here on pvsolarinvestor: http://solarpvinvestor.com/spvi-news/377-renesolas-technology-and-market-strategy-to-make-the-company-a-major-force-in-2013
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@ explo, that's why I am enjoying this as compared to yahoo... thanks for the thoughts. We are certainly not to any point to point to spreadsheets and potential profits and are in a stage to think about who survives and who gains positive sentiment. That is what TSL had in 2009, a perception that they played it well and were "going" to come out of that downturn strong. History shows that perception and sentiment sometimes even trumps fundamentals especially in terms of a PE ratio which I hope we see again sometime soon. I was in SOL and broke even there, perhaps a small loss in 2011 and have been trying to read more about them again. Feel free to expand on your thoughts when you have time.

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