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Following recent news that two solar companies were braving listings in public markets, two more bold candidates recently threw their hats into the ring. One of them is STR Holdings, short for Specialized Technology Research. The Enfield, Conn.,-based company has two lines of revenue: It makes […] Read more »

Bill Gates may have left the Microsoft campus, but he hasn’t lost his flair for the dramatic gesture. It seems one part of Gates’ vast portfolio is at war with another part. To resolve things, Gates is publicly slapping himself on the wrist — something he […] Read more »

Despite record oil prices, it has not been a great year for making money from ethanol. High corn prices are killing corn ethanol companies in the U.S., while Cosan, the world’s largest sugar company as well as its leading maker of sugar-based ethanol, has had the […] Read more »

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Here’s a refreshing change: Some positive news about a solar company. First Solar [FSLR], a prominent stock in the beleaguered solar sector that has held up relatively well of late, posted earnings for the quarter ended June 30, and the numbers were well ahead of what […] Read more »

It takes some serious nerve to brave the IPO market these days. It takes even more if you’re a solar energy company. But whether it’s pure craziness or contrarian cunning, two candidates are continuing to do just that. Merrimack, N.H.-based GT Solar is pushing ahead with […] Read more »

Solarfun Power Holdings (SOLF) said Tuesday that it signed a long-term supply deal with Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon. It also said it bought out Jiangsu Yangguang Solar. So overall, two pretty positive business deals for Solarfun. And how did the stock react? It fell nearly 8 percent. […] Read more »

We all knew surging gasoline prices would hurt auto sales. But it’s happening a lot faster than many had guessed. Automakers are reporting their June sales figures today, and if red is your favorite color you may like what you see. Ford’s sales were down 28 […] Read more »

Back when gas was $2 a gallon, we didn’t sweat it. Our biggest concern at the pump was whether we remembered to check the oil. At $3 a gallon, we started to grouse. At $4, we can all agree, it hurts. So imagine what it would […] Read more »

Solar panels are growing more efficient each year, but certain external factors continue to keep them from being as efficient as they could: They get dusty. Trees or adjacent buildings can cause shade and block sunlight. Leaves and other debris can stain the panels. Even mismatching […] Read more »

Tired of hearing bad news about the ethanol sector? For a change of pace, how about some really dismal news? Heavy rains in the Midwest are triggering floods and imperiling corn crops. So corn prices, which have been surging higher on rising demand, are now being […] Read more »

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Bill Gates is making good on his plans, announced last November, to sell off his 20.6 percent stake in Pacific Ethanol. Cascade Investment, the private investment and holding company controlled by Gates, has been whittling down the stake trade by trade, according to recent filings with […] Read more »

For a few days there, things were starting to look up for Pacific Ethanol (PEIX). Corn costs are surging. Demand is slack. And biofuels are being blamed for everything from toxic sludge to movie-ticket inflation. Pacific Ethanol, which recently suspended plans to build a new California […] Read more »

After a rocky start, Solarfun may finally be winning the respect of investors. Its stock is up 8 percent in Wednesday trading after delivering earnings that showed revenue in the first quarter of 2008 had grown six-fold from the same period a year ago. Net profit […] Read more »

This morning, Hoku Scientific posted its results for the March quarter and then saw its stock tumble. It followed a pattern set by shares of JA Solar on Monday and LDK today, as well as other solar companies in recent weeks. Each company’s stock slid for […] Read more »

EnerNOC delivered first-quarter earnings Wednesday that were a mixed bag. The company beat Wall Street estimates, which is always nice; but its operating loss nearly tripled from the previous year to $11.7 million, which is not so nice. The net loss of 57 cents a share […] Read more »

Is First Solar headed higher, or lower? Judging from the volatility of the stock, there is no clear consensus among investors. Even the analysts who spend their days scrutinizing solar companies can’t agree. Yesterday, Craig Rubens wrote about the 8 percent rise in First Solar’s stock […] Read more »

Oil giants like BP and Shell often groom themselves through marketing campaigns as being very interested in alternative energies like biofuels, solar and wind power. And they are investing in these areas. But when earnings time comes around, it becomes clear just how puny these initiatives […] Read more »

With the President talking green in the White House Rose Garden, you might think that investors in solar stocks would be in a bullish mood this week. But no. Rather than listen to what could happen between now and 2025, solar investors were taking a look […] Read more »

Sometimes it takes an IPO to draw the spotlight to a promising idea. That may be the case with Codexis, a chemical company located in the heart of Silicon Valley with an interesting approach to synthetic biology. Codexis, which filed on Monday a prospectus with the […] Read more »

I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but I’m going to do it. Yesterday, Dave Winer ranted about how blogs have become an ecosystem of recycled conversations about an original thought that happened long ago. Even so, I am going to talk about a post […] Read more »

Data centers are becoming a bigger and bigger draw on energy resources. According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency last year, they accounted for only 1.5 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. But an interesting story by James Niccolai of IDG suggests […] Read more »

Now we have a better idea of why Suntech Power, with half a billion dollars in convertible notes on its books, wanted to make it an even billion. The Chinese solar company is buying a minority stake in Nitol Solar, a Russian polysilicon producer, for “up […] Read more »

Wall Street was expecting a net loss from VeraSun on Wednesday, but the ethanol company surprised with a profit of 4 cents. That was good enough news to lift its shares up 4 percent to close at $6.96. But that was about as good as the […] Read more »

Suntech Power is dipping its bucket into the credit markets, hoping to raise between $425 million and $500 million to buy polysilicon and fund the expansion of its capacity. This would normally be seen as a positive move, but the news led to a nearly 5 […] Read more »

What bad luck for U.S. ethanol makers. The very day when oil hits a record high, even when adjusted for inflation, corn also hits a record high. High oil should make ethanol more desirable, but the high corn prices are more than offsetting any benefits from […] Read more »

The economist Robert Heilbroner once said that, at first, a 21st century environmental crisis would be kind of fun, as people would be getting excited about cleaner lifestyles. And then it would start to get very hard. We may already be reaching that turning point. For […] Read more »

2007 may be remembered as the year when venture capitalists went green. At least that’s the idea you get looking at data from Dow Jones VentureSource, which surveyed and interviewed VCs to find out that 221 companies worldwide received $3 billion in venture financing last year, […] Read more »

For all the chatter about Chinese solar stocks, Japan has long been the world’s leading producer of photovoltaics. Of course, given the number of investments Chinese companies are making in capacity, they are likely to overtake Japan in a few years. But for now, Japan has […] Read more »

Investors in green stocks are getting harder to please. And this week, those invested in EnerNOC are downright displeased. EnerNOC doesn’t offer an alternative energy to oil. Instead, it helps companies reduce their energy costs by managing their usage more efficiently. At a time when oil […] Read more »

There were murmurs that Suntech Power’s earnings for its most recent quarter would disappoint on supply hiccups, and now it seems that was indeed the case. Suntech Power’s shares are getting slammed this morning, reportedly the biggest loser on the NYSE. The stock fell as much […] Read more »

Remember all those stories and reports about how the writers’ strike was driving TV viewers over to the Internet? Limelight Networks wants you to forget them. After posting a larger-than-expected loss for its most recent quarter, Limelight says the current quarter won’t be much better. Why? […] Read more »

Here’s a heartening development for anyone weary of the volatility in the solar sector: Energy Conversion Devices’ costly and painful turnaround is showing signs of working. Analyst reports out today show a growing sense of cautious optimism about the company’s prospects this year following the release […] Read more »

Just when you’d think Google’s financial discombobulation would give Yahoo some rest comes this heartfelt bullet from Microsoft. On the PR newswire this morning runs this incredibly respectful yet dispiritingly asexual love letter from Steve Ballmer to Jerry Yang. And, oh how Mr. Ballmer loves to […] Read more »

Ever since Google’s stock-withering earnings report, I’ve had the Flaming Lips’ “Waiting for a Superman” stuck in my head. Things are indeed getting heavy, and everyone was waiting for Google to lift the sun into the sky. That didn’t happen, and Google’s stock was quickly shoved […] Read more »

I recently Googled the term “falling cpm,” and the top link was a story with the headline: “CPM Rates Drop as More Sites Seek Ads.” Expecting that the story had been published in the last few months, I was surprised to see that the publication date […] Read more »

Stock markets around the world are tumbling, with the Dow staying firmly in negative territory even in the face of an emergency interest-rate cut. And ready or not, the parade of technology earnings is on its way as well. A handful of tech bellwethers have already […] Read more »

[qi:053] A bounce in technology stocks, at this point, is inevitable. With the S&P’s tech sector down 10 percent so far this year — and a bearish-looking 20 percent since last summer — it’s just a matter of time before the sellers get tired and others […] Read more »

[qi:053] Apple shares slid 7.6 percent Friday, closing at $180 and capping an 11-percent loss in just one (shortened) week. Should investors be worried? If you figure that the setback left Apple’s (AAPL) stock at its lowest close in only one month, probably not. And considering […] Read more »

I’ve taken seven of the more interesting stocks of 2007 — all stocks that inspired a good deal of passionate discussion and, for the most part, a good deal of capital gains — and ranked them according to how I think they’ll perform in 2008. Take a look. Read more »

[qi:053] Every holiday season, it’s the same thing: Numbers showing retail sales are disappointing, data showing retail sales are strong, analysts are chasing their tails trying to explain why, and through it all we consumers just keep on buying. So the fact that this scenario is […] Read more »

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