Prospects for solar energy ETFs grew even dimmer Thursday as
Chinese solar equipment makers reported second-quarter losses and
cut their full-year shipment estimates on fears Europe will slap
them with anti-dumping tariffs.
The concerns follow accusations that they dumped cheap
products amid a global supply glut and weak demand. The U.S.
earlier this year imposed tariffs on major Chinese exporters,
includingYingli Green Energy (
) andJA Solar (
), at about 31%, Reuters reported.
Guggenheim Solar (
) plunged 5.13% Thursday, whileMarket Vectors Solar Energy ETF (
) tumbled 4.75%. The largest holding in both ETFs,First Solar (
), plummeted 16.49%. Solar stocks have been trending lower the
past four years as China's low-cost manufacturing flooded the
market and drove down prices, eroding profits and sending some
companies out of business.
First Solar stopped deliveries to the world's largest
photovoltaic power plant in Arizona, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The halt is meant to slow down construction to meet contractual
guidelines at the plant, which was being built faster than
planned. The solar farm is 85% completed and is scheduled to be
finished at the end of 2013.
Yingli shares dropped 10% upon reporting a third straight
quarterly loss due to a sharp fall in panel prices. It lost 58
cents a share in the second quarter. Sales fell 28% year over
year to $488.4 million. It cut its estimate for a module
shipments increase to 31% to 37% year over year vs. prior
guidance of a greater than 50% increase.
"In addition to the challenges from feed-in tariff
adjustments, excessive module supply and the ongoing anti-dumping
and countervailing investigations in the U.S., the anticipated
anti-dumping investigation in the European Union has brought more
pressure and uncertainties to the solar industry," Yingli
Chairman and CEO Liansheng Mia said in media statement.
ThinkEquity and RBC cut their price targets.
JA Solar -- one of the world's largest solar makers -- posted
a fifth straight quarterly loss Wednesday owing to weak solar
panel prices. The net loss nearly doubled to 37 cents a share
following a 20-cent loss the prior quarter. Sales fell 31% year
over year to $284.4 million. RBC cut its price target while
rating it sector perform. Shares fell 0.73% after tumbling 10%
Wednesday. For the full year 2012, Yingli expects total cell and
module shipments to be between 1.5 and 1.8 gigawatts vs. prior
estimates of 1.8 to 2.0 GW.
"While we recorded a loss for the quarter due to the
unfavorable pricing environment, we continue to actively manage
costs and operating expenses and have one of the strongest
balance sheets in the industry," said Dr. Peng Fang, CEO of JA
Solar, in a statement.
TAN plummeted 29% year to date and 66% in the past 12 months.
KWT has fallen 30% year to date and 66% in the past 12
Follow Trang Ho on Twitter