Sunshine in the Public IPO Markets

In the past, a solar IPO (Initial Public Offering) was a rare event, with never more than three or four coming in any given year. This year, 2006, marks the beginning of a significant ramp up in solar IPO’s and more importantly, it is the beginning of serious financial resources coming into the solar industry which will allow the industry to continue its recent robust growth.

Although once again, the photovoltaics (PV) sector has dominated the public financing arena, there have been a number of ethanol related IPO’s that have also started to trade their shares on the U.S. public market. Below is a break down of the PV IPO’s in terms of offerings that have been completed in 2006 — and offerings that have filed (with the SEC) to go public in the very near future. Completed 2006 IPO’s Canadian Solar, Inc. Stock Symbol: CSIQ. Canadian Solar went public in late November of 2006 at $15.00 per share, rising approximately $82MM dollars net. The company produces standard silicon panels and has a silicon recycling facility in China. Current stock price: $9.57, market cap: $256 million Website: www.csisolar.com First Solar, Inc. Stock Symbol: FSLR. First Solar went public in late November of 2006 at $20.00 per share, rising approximately $420MM dollars net. The company produces a thin film Cadmium Telluride product on a glass substrate. Current stock price: $27.53, market cap: $1.92 billion Website: www.firstsolar.com PowerFilm, Inc. Stock Symbol: PFLM.L. PowerFilm went public on the AIM (Alternative Investment Market) exchange in London in May of 2006 at a price of 120 pence, raising approximately $16 million. The company produces a thin film, amorphous silicon product on a flexible plastic substrate. Current stock price: $199 pence, market cap: $125 million Website: www.powerfilmsolar.com Akeena Solar, Inc. Stock Symbol: AKNS.OB. Akeena went public via a reverse merger, in August of 2006 at an initial price of $1.00 and is listed on the over the counter bulletin board. The company is one of the largest installers of PV systems in the U.S. Current stock price: $2.20, market cap: $33 million Website: www.akeena.net Renesola Ltd. Stock Symbol: SOLA.L. Renesola went public on the AIM exchange in London in August at a price of 80 pence raising approximately $50 million. Renesola is a Chinese company that produces silicon wafers for the PV industry in China and around the world. Current stock price: $445 pence, market cap: 500 million+ Website: www.renesola.com Trina Solar Limited Stock symbol: TSL. Trina Solar is another China based PV company that produces conventional silicon PV modules.The IPO started trading on December 19th 2006 at $18.50. Raising the company approximately $90 million. Current stock price: $19.85, market cap: $400 million + Website: www.Trinasolar.com Solarfun Power Holdings Proposed stock symbol: SOLF. Solarfun is a China based PV manufacturer that produces conventional silicon PV modules from ingots. Their current capacity is approximately 50MW. The IPO started trading on December 20th 2006 at $12.50. Raising the company approximately $150 million. Current stock price: $10.99, market cap: Approx. $500 million Website: www.solarfun.com.cn/einfo.htm Pending IPO’s These are PV companies that have either filed (Photowatt Technologies, Inc.) or others that are rumored to be moving forward toward doing a public financing in the U.S. Photowatt Technologies, Inc. Proposed stock symbol: PWAT. Photowatt produces conventional PV panels from polysilicon and from recycled metallurgical grade silicon. It is partially owned by a Canadian public company, ATS Automation Tooling Systems (symbol:ATS.TO), which trades on the Toronto stock exchange. I would expect the IPO in the first quarter of 2007. Proposed initial stock price: Unknown, market cap: unknown Website: www.photowatt.com Yingli Solar Proposed stock symbol: unknown. Yingli Solar is a China based PV company that is vertically integrated (silicon ingots, to wafers, to panels, to systems) solar manufacturer with approximately a 100MW annual capacity. A number of articles have stated that Yingli plans to raise over $400 million in a NASDAQ IPO in 2007. Proposed initial stock price: Unknown, market cap: unknown Website: www.yinglisolar.com LDK Solar Hi-Tech Co., Ltd. Proposed stock Symbol: unknown. LDK is now the biggest multicrystalline wafer manufacturer in Asia, the manufacturing plant located in Economic Development Zone, Xinyu, Jiangxi, P,R, China. It has a current capacity of 200MW and projected capacity of 1,000MW by 2010. Proposed initial stock price: unknown. Market Cap: unknown Website: www.ldksolar.com/english/index.html CEEG (Nanjing) PV-Tech Co., Ltd (NPV) Proposed stock symbol: unknown. NPV was founded under the collaboration of China Electric Equipment Group (CEEG) and a team of Australian PV technology scientists in June of 2004. It is a large manufacturer of PV panels and equipment. Current capacity is stated at 192MW. Proposed initial stock price: unknown. Market cap: unknown Website: www.n-pv.com/english/index.asp Editors Note: The term “market capitalization” (market cap) is the total number of shares outstanding times the current stock price — this is an important number investors should be aware of since it is the value that the market is currently placing on the entire company. J. Peter Lynch has worked, for 29 years as a Wall Street analyst, an independent equity analyst and private investor, and a merchant banker in small emerging technology companies. He has been actively involved in following developments in the renewable energy sector since 1977 and is regarded as an expert in this area. He is currently a financial and technology consultant to a number of companies. He can be reached via e-mail at Solarjpl@aol.com.
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