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Solar panels maker, Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP - Analyst Report), yesterday, formed a strategic partnership to supply up to 190MW of solar panels to solar project developer Solarhybrid AG in 2011. This strategic partnership between Suntech and Solarhybrid has stemmed from their alliance for the 24.2 MW Finow Tower I project in Germany in 2010.
Per the deal, Suntech, as a key partner of Solarhybrid, will supply solar panels to the majority of the German project pipeline of the latter in 2011.
Solarhybrid plans to equip five solar power plants, currently under construction in Germany, with about 172MW of Suntech solar panels. The company also said its two solar projects being developed in Italy (10MW) and Slovakia (6MW) will be powered by Suntech solar panels.
Wuxi, China-based Suntech is a leading solar energy company. The company designs, develops, manufactures and markets photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules.
Suntech Power is one of the largest producers of PV solar modules with a geographically diversified customer base. It uses its proprietary Pluto technology. By the end of 2011, the company expects to ship about 2.2GW of solar products. Suntech’s full year 2011 revenue guidance is in the range of $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second quarter 2011, fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012 are 33 cents, $1.22 and $1.23 per share, respectively.
Other positive factors for Suntech include ongoing expansion programs, higher conversion efficiency through its Pluto technology-enabled modules, a subsidy program in China and improving operating efficiencies. However, apprehensions over rising competition, subsidy cuts in Europe and financial stability of its customers overshadow the positives.
In the near term (1 to 3 months), we feel the Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) stock would trade in line with peers like First Solar Inc. (FSLR - Analyst Report) and JinkoSolar Holding Company Ltd. (JKS - Snapshot Report). Over the longer run, our Outperform recommendation on the stock indicates that it should perform above the broader market.
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