SouFun to Unicom Surge on Profit as Solars Rise
Comment of the Day

August 09 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

SouFun to Unicom Surge on Profit as Solars Rise

This article by Belinda Cao for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section
SouFun's American depositary receipts jumped 11 percent to $38.78, the highest level since the company's U.S. listing in September 2010.

The Beijing-based company said net income in the second quarter jumped 67.5 percent to $55.4 million in a statement yesterday, while sales grew 48.6 percent to $144.1 million. Both exceeded the mean estimates of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

SouFun raised its 2013 revenue forecast to as much as $548 million, from $538 million previously. SouFun's estimate beat the average projection of $541 million of four analysts.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. yesterday increased the price target for SouFun to $31.5 from $29.

Xinyuan, also based in Beijing, gained 1.6 percent to $5.08 in New York. The developer lifted its 2013 sales projection by 6 percent to over $880 million. Xinyuan's second-quarter earnings also beat its own guidance in May by 58 percent, it said.

Eoin Treacy's view China leveraged its low cost manufacturing prowess to carve a dominant position in the solar panel sector. By flooding the market with inventory, prices collapsed forcing a number of competitors into bankruptcy. This afforded a number of Chinese companies the opportunity to pick up technological know how at bargain basement prices. As the oversupply of panels has unwound, a number of solar related companies have embarked on a recovery.

This chart, (last posted in Comment of the Day on July 19th) highlights the role technological innovation has played in the efficiency of solar cells. The advent of four junction cells late last year, can be considered a new technology and are among the most efficient cells to date at more than 40%. As the cost of producing cells trends lower and efficiency trends higher, the potential for solar to represent a future energy revolution is increasing. What this chart also indicates is that a new technology entering the market has the capacity to make the previous stock of panels obsolete overnight.

While most solar companies have rallied rather impressively this year, most have developed short-term overbought conditions and are susceptible to some mean reversion. However, sustained breaks in their progressions of higher reaction lows would be required to question recovery potential.

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