Solar stocks skyrocket
Solar stocks haven’t determined whether there are trade tensions or whether there’s support for fossil fuels. The solar sector has been one of the best performing sectors in 2019. SunPower (SPWR), one of the largest solar panel makers, has already doubled in the first half of the year. Sunrun (RUN) and First Solar (FSLR) have risen ~67% and 45%, respectively, in 2019.
States have pushed for renewable energy, lower costs, and higher corporate investments, which increased solar panel installations in the US. California was the frontrunner in installations for the last few years. However, Florida has taken the top spot in the first quarter.
According to Reuters, the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie expect solar installations to increase 25% in 2019 compared to 2018. Previously, the group expected 14% growth in 2019. The group increased its five-year industry outlook 9% due to procurements in Florida from NextEra Energy’s (NEE) principal subsidiary Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy (DUK). Solar stocks were bleak in 2018. Solar installations fell 2% in 2018 after the government imposed 30% tariffs on foreign-made solar panels.
In the first quarter, First Solar’s revenues fell 6% year-over-year, while SunPower’s revenues increased marginally. Sunrun reported a steep rise of 35% in revenues in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2018. All three of these solar companies reported a loss in the first quarter. The expectation for more solar installations is good news for solar companies. However, we’ll have to see if the volume growth gets translated to companies’ profits.