Solar stocks: So hot right now

Jan 4, 2013 by

A ‘fusion’ of good news: Solar stocks are ‘hot’ thanks to Warren Buffett’s ‘flare’

By Philip Bump

It’s generally a good sign when Warren Buffett starts investing in your company/industry/country. Known as the “Wizard of Omaha” due to his ability to send little girls back to Kansas, Buffett is the second most famous representative of investment powerhouse Berkshire Hathaway. (His heavily taxed secretary is the most famous.) And when Berkshire Hathaway makes an investment, markets move.

The investment, via SmartPlanet:

[Berkshire Hathaway subisidary] MidAmerican Renewables kicked off 2013 with another major purchase. The company announced this week it has acquired SunPower’s Antelope Valley Solar Projects, two co-located projects in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California.

MidAmerican didn’t disclose the purchase price. However, analysts have pinned the purchase price somewhere between $2 billion and $2.5 billion.

Together, the combined projects will form the largest permitted solar photovoltaic power development in the world, according to SunPower and MidAmerican.

The market action, via the Los Angeles Times:

The SunPower deal, worth as much as $2.5 billion, sent solar stocks on a tear.

SunPower soared as much as 41% to $8.68 a share. Lazard Capital Markets upgraded the company to buy from neutral.

Suntech was up more than 18% to $1.90 a share, while First Solar gained as much as 11% to $35.60 a share.

Solar panel in shopping cart
Shutterstock
GET IT?

Those stock increases are still holding strong today, via MSN.com.

SunPower:

SunPower

Suntech:

Suntech

First Solar:

First Solar

Tip to business owners: Rename your companies “Sun”-something. Or, alternately: “Solar”-something. See also: SolarCity, as covered at GigaOm:

Following an IPO that saw solar installer and financier SolarCity’s shares rise almost 50 percent on its first day of trading, the Elon Musk-backed company now says it has a robust growth plan in place for its solar roofs in 2013. This year, SolarCity says it plans to install 250 MW of solar roof capacity, up from 156 MW of solar roofs capacity installed in 2012.

To put that in perspective, the entire solar panel industry in the U.S. is estimated to have installed 3,200 MW (3.2 GW) of solar roof capacity in 2012, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. There were a record number of solar roof installations in the U.S. last year.

SolarCity’s stock was up 13.44 percent in morning trading to $14.77.

And SolarCity’s stock now?

SolarCity

A lesser person would make the following joke: Who knew the sun was so hot? What a jerk that guy would be, making that dumb joke.

It bears noting that occasionally stock prices go down, I guess. I don’t know. Who am I, Warren Buffett?

Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.

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