First Solar, Amazon Dive – Tuesday’s IP Market Recap

by Kyle Woodley | October 25, 2011 4:57 pm

A months-long rain that already washed out Solyndra continued to pour on the parade of American solar companies Tuesday. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR[1]) watched its stock drop to its lowest point since February 2007 after CEO Rob Gillette unexpectedly parted ways with the company[2], putting a shadow of doubt over the declining solar stock.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based company is the only pure-play solar stock in the S&P 500 and is the largest solar company by market capitalization in the United States, dwarfing SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWRA[3]) — itself once a prominent stock that traded for $133 per share in 2007 before plummeting to its all-time low of $9.09 Tuesday.

The American solar industry has come under pressure both from Chinese companies pushing down solar panel prices, as well as flagging demand in Europe. Also smearing the industry was the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a 2009 recipient of $535 million in government loan guarantees that eventually filed for Chapter 11 protection in Aug. 2011. The company then was raided in September by the FBI as part of an investigation into possible misleading by Solyndra’s executives.

Already this week, reports said First Solar did not win a Department of Energy loan for its $2.2 billion Topaz solar project, and that negotiations to sell Topaz to Enbridge (NYSE:ENB[4]) had petered out. Gillette’s departure further unsettles the company, and FSLR stock ended Tuesday down 25% to $43.27.

Tuesday also saw the official bloodletting of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX[5]), which watched its stock dive in after-hours trading Monday[6]. The streaming video company beat third-quarter expectations, but CEO Reed Hastings warned that the fallout of Qwikster[7] was continuing with further declines in subscribers. With a Tuesday closing price of $77.37, Netflix dropped 35% in a day and has rewound 75% of its value since July highs.

Following up Netflix’s Monday night implosion was Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN[8]), which joined tech giants IBM (NYSE:IBM[9]), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT[10]) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL[11]) in doling out third-quarter disappointments. AMZN dropped as much as 15% in Tuesday’s after-hours trading to $195.49 on an earnings miss and weak guidance[12].

Amazon reported third-quarter earnings per share of 14 cents, missing Wall Street expectations by a dime; revenues were $10.88, shorting estimates by about $50 million. AMZN also said fourth-quarter income will come in between 250 million and a loss of $200 million — well short of the year-ago quarter’s $474 million in profits.

Three Up

Three Down

As of this writing, Kyle Woodley did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. Check out recaps from previous trading days here[19].

  1. FSLR:
  2. unexpectedly parted ways with the company:
  3. SPWRA:
  4. ENB:
  5. NFLX:
  6. dive in after-hours trading Monday:
  7. that the fallout of Qwikster:
  8. AMZN:
  9. IBM:
  10. MSFT:
  11. AAPL:
  12. earnings miss and weak guidance:
  13. DGX:
  14. GOLD:
  15. UA:
  16. AKS:
  17. GMCR:
  18. OMX:
  19. here:

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