Solar News: SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Customer Growth, First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) & SunPower Corporation (SPWR)

Editor’s Note: Related Tickers: First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL), LDK Solar Co., Ltd (NYSE:LDK), SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY)

First Solar Financials Shine Year Over Year (Compound Semiconductor)
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) has announced financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Net sales were $755 million in the quarter, a decrease of $320 million from the fourth quarter of 2012 and an increase of $258 million from the first quarter of 2012. The firm says decrease in net sales from the fourth quarter of 2012 was primarily due to less revenue recognition from its systems business projects primarily related to the Topaz project. The increase over the first quarter of 2012 was mainly due to higher sales volumes for third-party module sales and an increase in revenue from systems projects.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR)Credit: First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR)

SunPower Corporation (SPWR): The Mind-Blowing Data You’ve Gotta See (Insider Monkey)
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. SPWR investors should be aware of a decrease in hedge fund sentiment lately. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with SPWR positions at the end of the previous quarter. Of the funds we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the biggest position in SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR). Royce & Associates has a $8.7 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Ardsley Partners, managed by Philip Hempleman, which held a $7.3 million position; 1.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company.

SolarCity Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial Results (Yahoo! Finance)
SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), a leading provider of clean energy, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. “Extending its leadership as the nation’s premier clean energy provider, SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) not only grew its customer base 106% year-over-year to over 57,400 and increased its long-term contracted cash flows to $1.22 billion but also exceeded guidance of MW deployed of 41 MW with 46 MW in the first quarter of 2013,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO. “Through our unique, vertically-integrated platform of financing and installing solar systems, we offer customers a compelling value proposition of clean energy for lower than their local utility rate,” continued Mr. Rive. “And our growing economies of scale and falling cost of capital are leading us to retain greater value for our shareholders.”

What Should We Know Before SunPower’s Analyst Day On May 15? (Seeking Alpha)
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) announced its 1Q13 results on May 2 with strong performance from both rooftop and ground mount projects. The better-than-expected results sent SPWR shares up more than 17 percent on that day thanks to strong demand from North America and Japan. In a typical low season of solar energy installation, SPWR’s revenue beat and loss narrowing really mean a solid start for SPWR and a cheerful solar photovoltaic (PV) industry as well. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) will provide the company’s second quarter and fiscal year 2013 guidance at its Analyst Day to be held on May 15, 2013, which should be quite interesting to investors in terms of market drivers, product and manufacturing capacities, business upside opportunities, and profitability.

First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) & The Stocks Driving The S&P 500 Higher (Insider Monkey)
Until recently, First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) was stuck in the doldrums along with the rest of the solar industry, which was suffering from overcapacity and concerns about its future economic viability. Yet last month, First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) gave an incredibly positive outlook, arguing that it would…

…post sales between 20% and 30% higher than analysts had expected. Even when its most recent earnings release tempered those expectations somewhat going forward, investors still feel much more confident about the solar leader than they did two months ago.

Solar shakeout: LDK Solar subsidiary in Germany enters bankruptcy proceedings (PV-Tech)
Having lost its line of credit from its banks, Germany-based PV supplier Sunways, majority-owned by struggling Chinese manufacturer LDK Solar Co., Ltd (NYSE:LDK), has been forced into insolvency proceedings. According to an announcement by the company, a “relevant third-party application” for bankruptcy was made at the local court in Konstanz, Germany. Attorney at law Dr. Thorsten Schleich, Singen am Hohentwiel, of the law office Schleich & Kollegen, was appointed as preliminary insolvency administrator.

SunPower Solar System Expected to Save Western Municipal Water District Millions Over the Next Two Decades (AltEnergyMag)
Western Municipal Water District’s newly commissioned 916-kilowatt SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) solar power system is soaking up the sun, delivering an expected savings of up to $4.6 million over the next two decades. The system, located at Western’s Operations facility off of El Sobrante in Riverside, Calif. is also helping maintain Western’s commitment to supporting deployment of renewable energy technologies. Western contracted withSunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) to install the SunPower T0 Tracker® system at its Operations facility. The solar system follows the sun’s movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture over conventional fixed-tilt systems.

Trina Solar gets show of support (optionMONSTER)
Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL) has declined sharply in the last week, but traders apparently believe that any further losses will be limited. optionMONSTER systems show that 12,000 June 4 puts traded in a strong selling pattern yesterday, led by a print of 8,000 that went for $0.23. The volume was far above the strike’s open interest of 2,312 contracts before the session began, clearly indicating new activity. The put selling is a bet that Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL) will hold above $4 through expiration in mid-June. If the stock falls below that strike price, the trader faces the possibility of having to buy shares at that level.