Solar Tribune

Solar shares rally despite “flat” outlook for 2012


Yesterday, two solar energy firms reported higher than expected earnings, sending share prices up, just a day after a forecast for a flat year for PV shares.

Despite the lower price of PV panels, due to last year’s increased supply, Bloomberg reports that better than expected profits sent solar share prices higher on Friday.

Photo Credit: CalFinder

The Arizona-based First Solar also announced approval for a major PV project in California that had been held up due to permitting issues.

These announcements raised these firms’ share prices by 18.9, 11, and 7.3 percent respectively. This good news also raised other solar panel makers’ share prices.

Just the day before, Bloomberg reported that HSBC analysts predicted a “flat” market for PV panel installations in 2012.

“We continue to suggest investors stay cautious given our expectations of flat global installation growth and flat pricing outlook in 2012,” HSBC analysts led by Joseph Jacobelli said in an email. “The sharp surge in January was a result of volume surprises in a number of countries, namely Germany, China, the U.K., Belgium, France and Greece.”

The bank predicts that worldwide solar panel installations will be lower than last year’s 26 GW, at 25.5 GW for 2012.While HSBC forecasts higher installations for China and India, analysts lowered its forecast for U.S. installations for 2013. They expressed concern about financing for large projects and the impact of low gas prices on demand for PV.

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