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Solar panel manufacturer JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (JKS - Snapshot Report) continues with its expansion activities in China encouraged by the increasing solar uptake in the country. The company has taken over assets owned by Zhejiang Topoint Photovoltaic Co. and related companies on Jan 13. The deal was announced initially on Jan 10 following which the stock climbed 1.8% in the day’s trading showing avid investor interest in this Chinese solar module maker.

Topoint – a high-tech photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer – has its presence in the Huangwan Industry Park in Haining, Zhejiang Province. The entity is presently streamlining its operations under the supervision of the Haining City government and the Haining City People's Court. The assets acquired by JinkoSolar include Zhejiang Topoint, Zhejiang Yutai Photovoltaic Material Co., Zhejiang Weishida Photovoltaic Material Co. and Zhejiang Jiutai New Energy Co.

JinkoSolar has started operating the plants under a leasing agreement and will assume ownership once the reorganization is complete. This move is expected to boost JinkoSolar’s capacity as global demand for photovoltaic panels is steadily on the rise.

The properties of Topoint have 500 megawatt (MW) annual capacity for silicon wafers, 500 MW for PV cells, and 100 MW for PV modules. This will add to Jinko’s current production capabilities of 2 gigawatts (GW), 2.0 GW and 2.1 GW, respectively.

With a gradual recovery in the solar industry from a two-year down cycle, demand for solar panels has improved considerably last year. Some solar companies went into bankruptcy thereby creating acquisition targets for stronger photovoltaic producers like JinkoSolar.

JinkoSolar’s solar modules have one of the highest efficiency levels among its peers, which help in securing consistent orders from customers worldwide. The tie-up with Beijing University's Solar Power Engineering Center to check the efficiency of PV modules when exposed to various conditions will further improve the quality of its products.

Japan and China will feature among the largest users of solar power in the next few years. The Chinese government expects to generate 20 GW of electricity from solar energy by 2020. In addition, Japan has set a target to install 28 GW of solar power capacity by 2020. Given its product quality, JinkoSolar will definitely benefit from the increase in solar power usage from these two countries.

JinkoSolar Holding currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other players in the solar PV industry, which also look attractive at current levels, include SunPower Corporation (SPWR - Analyst Report), First Solar, Inc. (FSLR - Analyst Report) and SolarCity Corp. (SCTY - Snapshot Report). All these stocks carry a Zack Rank # 2 (Buy).

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