ReneSola Share Repurchase Program Starts Slowly
Late last month, I discussed the fact that in another sign of the undervaluation in the Solar sector, the Board of Renesola (SOL) had authorized a $100m share repurchase program. On the day of the company's announcement, its stock price was down 66% on the year. You can read more detail on the original share repurchase program and the related shareholder rights program here.
As a follow-up to the original announcement, Renesola has now released details of the progress that has so far been made in executing the program. The Company itself has purchased 645,424 American Depositary Shares (ADSs) for a value of $1.9m using Tuesday's closing price. In addition, the company's CEO Xianshou Li has also purchased an additional 1,071,540 ADSs. Again at Tuesday's closing price that would be a total value of $3.2m.
Clearly, the company has a long way to go if it is to put the full $100m to work. And the press statement, which you can read here, indeed suggests that they may be willing to do so. Given that the company currently has a market cap of only $249.5m, that is not an insignificant amount of ammunition.
Mr. Xianshou Li, ReneSola commented, "At present, we believe our stock is considerably undervalued. We believe our fundamentals are strong, and our business has been bolstered by our new Virtus wafer technology and increasing in-house production of polysilicon. Moreover, we maintain a positive long-term view on the solar industry as a whole, despite near-term fluctuations and challenges. Our swift move to repurchase our stock demonstrates our confidence in the long-term success of our business. Should the opportunity arise, we will continue to utilize our strong cash position to repurchase our shares in order to maximize shareholder value and reaffirm the market of our leadership position in wafer and solar manufacturing."
The arrival of these share repurchase programs at Renesola and also at JA Solar (JASO) is indeed another sign of the undervaluation in the sector. However, as I have discussed previously, I took profits on all of my positions in my clean energy portfolio at the end of last month. I continue to believe that it is better to stay on the sidelines for now given the difficult macroeconomic and global environment - more on that here. As long as the overall market is under pressure and the investment community is focused on macroeconomic and budgetary concerns, Solar is likely to struggle. Better to keep your powder dry for now. There will be plenty of time to get involved again once the global environment clears.
Disclosure: I have no positions in the stocks discussed.
About the Author: Clean Energy Intel is a free investment advisory service (available at www.cleanenergyintel.com), produced by a retired hedge fund strategist who also manages his own money inside a clean energy investment fund.
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