First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) shares rose on Wednesday on the U.S. Commerce Department's decision late yesterday to tack on tariffs between 19% and 35% on Chinese solar panels, even if the panels contain solar cells made outside of China, benefiting U.S.-based solar stocks.
Shares of First Solar rose 3.9% to US$65.37, while SunPower's (NASDAQ:SPWR) stock rallied 6.7% to US$34.15.
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said in a note today that the taxes will give First Solar and SunPower a competitive advantage over the low-cost Chinese producers. China-based solar panel producers like Yingli Green Holding (NYSE:YGE) dropped Wednesday, with U.S.-listed shares of Yingli last down over 3.7% at US$2.84.
First Solar also announced late today a deal to buy Berlin, Germany-based Skytron Energy from from AEG Power Solutions in its efforts to expand its power plant control systems business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Skytron provides photovoltaic power plant management systems, maintenance services, data monitoring technology and equipment to solar power plants throughout Europe. It currently has installed monitoring and control systems in more than 600 plants across Europe, more than doubling First Solar's global portfolio of monitored assets. The acquisition still requires consent by German merger control authorities, First Solar said.