Solar stocks have largely cooled in the month of January, thanks to a chilly combo of a short silicon supply and fears over losing an important investment tax credit. But this week solar stock watchers got a much-needed bout of sun from the earnings of thin-film solar company Evergreen Solar.
The Marlboro, Mass.-based company (ESLR) late Wednesday said it swung to a fourth-quarter profit of $788,000, or a penny a share, on revenue of $22.2 million. In the same period last year, Evergreen lost $5.47 million, or 8 cents a share, on revenue of $32.4 million.
Wall Street had been expecting the company to remain in the red, so the first-time profit helped push Evergreen’s shares up more than 8 percent from yesterday’s close. Also helping the shares was the company’s announcement that it managed to secure poly-silicon supplies through 2012, which it will use to incrementally expand its capacity to 850 megawatts. The company’s String Ribbon method of manufacturing uses less silicon than conventional manufacturing, so it’s in a good position relative to its peers.
Now Evergreen’s brighter earnings just need to warm up the rest of the solar stocks. Hopefully February won’t be as frigid as the first month of the year.