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What Is a YieldCo?

What is a YieldCo

If you follow alternative energy stocks, the question of "What is a YieldCo?" has probably come up at some point over the past couple of years.

That's because YieldCos have become popular in the green energy industry as a way to raise relatively cheap capital to finance new projects while setting up a revenue stream from finished projects.

For investors, YieldCos offer several advantages. This is particularly true for income investors...

Why First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) Stock Is Oversold

FSLR stock

It's not as dark for FSLR stock as it looks.

First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) stock took a 7.28% hit Tuesday after a brutal downgrade by RBC Capital Markets. FSLR shares closed at $51.06, down $4.01 on the day.

RBC analyst Mahesh Sanganeria warned that Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar would not meet its revenue and profit targets this year and next. And he whacked his 12-month price target from $54 to $34.

But FSLR stock is not the disaster that Sanganeria described in his note...

Is SolarCity (SCTY) Stock a Buy Now?

SCTY stock

With many analysts bullish on SCTY stock right now, should investors buy it?

The short answer: Probably not. But you can't blame investors for being tempted by SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY) shares. Solar power is an industry growing at a very fast pace.

And while SolarCity is taking advantage of that growth, there's a darker side to this story.

Before you buy SCTY stock, you need to read this…

A Major Solar ETF "Buy" Signal Is Here

solar ETF cells

The potential of solar power has been touted for years, yet it has always come with major limitations. The costs of producing solar power have outweighed the benefits for many power companies.

But that's changing. Solar power has reached a tipping point, and it's creating a massive profit opportunity for one solar ETF.

"Despite the odds, alternative energy - led by solar power - is rapidly approaching what the industry has always considered to be the "Holy Grail,'" Money Morning's Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors said.

These 3 Stocks to Buy Now Will Surge on Solar Power's Arrival

Stocks to buy

The price of solar power has long kept solar companies off of investors' "stocks to buy" lists. But thanks to advances in the industry, costs are becoming much more affordable.

These developments with solar power mean one thing for investors: There are solar power stocks to buy that will take off as the industry grows.

Here’s a look at three that could be the hottest long-term winners…

Why First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) Stock Is Up 21% Today, and Where It's Headed Now

Solar Power Nasdaq FSLR

Shares of First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) are up more than 17% today (Wednesday) after the company released its guidance figures for 2014, 2015, and 2016 at its annual "Analyst Day" meeting.

First Solar expects full-year revenue in 2014 between $3.7 billion and $4 billion, and earnings per share (EPS) between $2.20 and $2.60. This time last year, the company had projected EPS between $2.50 and $4 for 2014.

For 2015, the company expects revenue between $3.8 billion and $4.3 billion, which is on the low end of analysts' estimates of $4.24 billion. FSLR projects 2015 EPS between $4.50 and $4.60, which is above the consensus estimate of $3.82.

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SolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY) Stock Strong Despite Earnings Delay

SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY) stock was up more than 2.8% in early trading Tuesday despite the fact that the company delayed its Q4 earnings report for the second time.

Title: solar city nasdaq scty - Description: solar city nasdaq scty

The company announced yesterday (Monday) that it found an accounting error relating to its overhead expenses and now has to restate its 2012 and 2013 financial results. The earnings are expected to be released on March 18.

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Why First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) Stock Is Among Today's Biggest Losers

Solar panel

First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) stock is down 12% today (Wednesday) after reporting Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.89 per share on revenue of $768 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had projected earnings per share (EPS) of $0.98 on revenue of $973 million.

The adjusted earnings added $0.25 per share related to a recent agreement for First Solar to sell its facility in Mesa, Ariz. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) earnings were $0.64 per share, which was down from $1.74 the year before.

Revenue for the full year 2013 was $3.31 billion - down 1.8% from 2012. Analysts at Zacks Investment Research had projected yearly revenue of $3.53 billion.

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Stocks to Buy: Will Solar Shine This Year?

hello sunshine isolated

Since legendary investor Warren Buffett took a liking to solar this year, investors have been wondering if it's time to revisit this beleaguered industry when looking for stocks to buy in 2013.

The solar sector has endured a beatdown for about two years, with massive oversupply of solar panels and unfavorable publicity combining to keep solar stocks down.

But two recent purchases by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a subsidiary of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), have brightened the solar stocks outlook.

MidAmerican announced a $2 billion to $2.5 billion deal to buy two California solar power projects from SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR). MidAmerican also agreed in January to invest in what will be the world's largest solar photovoltaic operation, which is partly owned by First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR).

Many solar stocks and solar ETFs, including Market Vectors Solar Energy (NYSE: KWT) and Claymore/MAC Global Solar Index (NYSE: TAN), have soared on the MidAmerican news. They're both up about 17% this year.

Does this mean investors should follow Buffett into solar stocks? Here's a look at the sector.

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Investing in 2013: Are Chinese Solar Stocks Worth All the Recent Hype?

Here's something you can safely say about China: They get things done.

That point was driven home to me a few years ago by a former Southern Company nuclear engineer who was consulting on building nuclear reactors in China.

"There are two things you can say about the Chinese way of doing things," he said admiringly, "one, once they decide to build a facility, it gets built and two, they bring it in on time."

He also noted that the builders took great pride in their work and if they say the cement was going to be laid by a certain date, the crew worked overtime and weekends to bring it in on time-all without overtime pay.

And the one thing a command economy like China has going for it is once they site a project, it gets built. There are no environmental impact studies, no legal issues, no historical impact hearings, and no worries about displaced families who may have lived on the land for centuries.

I bring it up because now it looks like the Chinese are back in the renewable energy business leading to a bull stampede into Chinese solar stocks.

China's Renewed Drive Into Green Energy

In early January, government officials announced at a national energy conference that they intend to add 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar power capacity this year, up from 7 GW at the end of last year.

The goal for 2013 will put China within easy reach of its stated target of 21 GW of installed solar power capacity by 2015.

That followed an announcement in December that China was going to provide $2 billion in subsidies for the country's solar industry.

And now the green energy community around the world is very excited that at least one major nation is willing to step up and stand behind its renewables industries and offer some incentives.

It is bit of a turnaround for an industry that had fallen on some hard times.

Over the past year in the United States, we saw what happened with some of the best intentioned government-driven green energy programs.

Can anyone say "Solyndra"? Or, "once bitten, twice shy"?

Then Germans pulled their solar and wind tax credits and subsidies. And now with the country's economy headed into recession, it's unlikely the Germans will be back on the renewables bandwagon anytime soon.

So will China's renewed push into renewables create a new boom for solar and wind stocks?

Here's what to expect.

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Solar Stocks to Buy: Three Companies Poised for Rebound

Energy solar small The majority of investors, when considering stocks to buy, have given up on solar companies.

That's mostly due to a two-year beatdown of the sector and plenty of bad publicity from the demise of federally subsidized Solyndra.

But while the sector continues to suffer - more solar companies will likely go under in 2013 - a choice few are positioned to benefit from a rebound that will start this year.

One sure sign of better days ahead is that the sector has recently attracted interest from one of the world's most respected investors, Warren Buffett.

Just within the past month MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a subsidiary of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), announced a deal to pay SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) between $2 billion and $2.5 billion for two California solar projects.

That followed MidAmerican's purchase of a 49% stake in an Arizona solar plant jointly owned by NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) and First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), as well as the $2 billion purchase of a planned solar farm in San Luis Obispo, CA, also from First Solar.

Here's why Buffett has taken an interest.

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