SolarCity's Silevo acquisition triggers solar stock surge


SolarCity's apparent midas touch extended to other solar companies Tuesday – on a leasehold basis, naturally – as news of the company's acquisition of solar panel maker Silevo reverberated positively throughout the stock market.

During stock trading yesterday, SolarCity’s shares soared by 17.5% as investors appeared to universally applaud the company’s bold move to acquire the solar panel company and commit to the construction of a 1 GW manufacturing plant in Buffalo, NY.

But it was not just SolarCity that enjoyed a day in the sun. Stocks for many leading solar panel makers enjoyed a noticeable fillip too, with China’s Yingli Solar enjoying a 12% share increase on the day.

Similarly noteworthy share increases were recorded for Canadian Solar (7.7%), Trina Solar (5.5%), JA Solar (9.6%), ReneSola (8.2%) and JinkoSolar (6.8%). Even the larger American rivals of SolarCity, First Solar and SunPower, enjoyed the ripple-effect of investor confidence, their stock price rising 3.4% and 4.3% respectively.

Speaking to pv magazine yesterday, Smart Solar consulting CEO Götz Fischbeck remarked that SolarCity's bold acquisition was potentially risky, but added that it was generally a good sign that a U.S. company had taken up the baton and was ready to pursue module manufacturing in the country.

Such boldness, particularly in the wake of the Department of Commerce's (DOC) decision earlier in June to slap even higher trade duties on Chinese modules, has evidently curried favor with investors, and did wonders for billionaire and SolarCity co-founder Elon Musk's bank balance – with more than 21 million shares in the company, valued today at approximately $1.36 billion, yesterday was a very good day indeed for the intrepid entrepreneur.

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