A Dark Day For Solar Stocks

The NASDAQ and Dow are treading water today, holding about even, but solar stocks are taking it on the chin, getting weighed down by poor earnings from Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ).

Last night Energy Conversion Devices cut revenue guidance and announced layoffs. This morning Canadian Solar reported a $50.6 million net loss for Q4. There’s heavy trading volume on ENER, with 7.5 million shares moving. First Solar has 4.5 million shares moving, while SunPower and SunTech each have over 1.5 million.

Via Forex Hound, some reasons for the rough day:

In case you needed more evidence of the troubles now plaguing the solar industry, take a look at the collapse in the number of applications Californians have filed for new residential solar installations under the state’s California Solar Initaitive program.
Data from the site shows that new applications were running over 1,000 a month for the last five months of 2008, but have since taken a tumble: 608 in January, and 646 in February. And March is shaping up to be even worse, with just 188 applications received through March 11.

The San Jose Mercury News on Saturday took a look at the numbers and concluded that “solar power’s prospects appear to be dimming, at least for the near term…as homeowners and business owners struggle to get credit and rein in spending on big-ticket items such as a rooftop full of solar panels.”

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