What's Energizing These 3 Solar Stocks?

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), and SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) are among the solar stocks in the black

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Aug 14, 2015 at 11:13 AM

Following some relatively upbeat news coverage -- on the fundamental side, anyway -- as well as encouraging comments from a solar exec, the solar sector is higher this morning. Among the stocks heating up are Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), and SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR). Here's a rundown of what's happening on the charts, and how the Street may be reacting.

CSIQ has jumped 3.6% to trade at $25.43, bringing its year-to-date advance to a market-beating 5.1%. So far today, though, the equity's upside move has been contained by its 30-day moving average, which has ushered the shares lower in recent weeksPut buyers have been active in recent months toward Canadian Solar Inc. The stock's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.43 ranks just 10 percentage points from an annual peak. Echoing this, CSIQ's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.06 registers above more than two-thirds of comparable readings from the last year. Looking ahead, the company is slated to report earnings before the open next Tuesday.

FSLR has tacked on 2.3% at $52.26, and has rallied over 17% in 2015 -- gapping higher recently on some positive earnings-induced attention on Wall Street. As with CSIQ, option traders aren't sold on First Solar, Inc. The latter's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.92 ranks in the 82nd percentile of its 12-month range. From a contrarian perspective, an unwinding of this negativity could energize the shares in their quest for additional gains.

SPWR is 2.8% higher this morning at $25.19, after CEO Thomas Werner waxed optimistic on the solar industry's growth prospects. However, SPWR remains in negative year-to-date territory -- though Werner said traders are essentially ignoring a "massive opportunity." Since touching a 2015 high of $35.11 in late April, the stock has surrendered 28%. Still, analysts have taken a glass-half-full approach. Specifically, nearly 90% of brokerages consider SunPower Corporation worthy of a "buy" or better rating. Additionally, the equity's consensus 12-month price target of $39.67 stands at a 57.5% premium to current levels. On the flip side, short interest represents a healthy 11.5% of SPWR's total available float.

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