(Updated for Tuesday close, slide in euro)
NEW YORK (
) -- The best of China's solar-stock cadre and the most-embattled of the U.S. solar leaders took it on the chin in Monday and Tuesday's trading session.
The formula for trading shares of solar-energy companies has been fairly simple over the last two weeks, and it set up Tuesday to be another day during which fundamentals in specific solar companies and the solar demand outlook for 2010 meant little when compared to the European continent.
Even the best of the solar energy stocks have been hit hard.
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. The investor favorite had risen as high as $31 in January -- from a 52-week low of $8 (adjusted for its subsequent stock split, that 52-week low in Trina shares would actually be $4). But Trina's stock led losses in the solar sector on Monday, declining 9% to a share price just above $18. Trina shares have not been as low as their Monday closing price since last November.
On Tuesday, even though early morning stability in the euro seemed like it could be a salve to solar's wounds, the euro couldn't hold, and by the end of Tuesday it had slid to yet another new 14-month low.
Trina Solar's losses were again the largest on Tuesday among solar stocks, as the Chinese solar player's rapid rise over the past year from a low share price between $8 and $9 in May 2009, suddenly looks as if it is not so far in Trina's past.
Trina Solar shares ended Tuesday down 10%, or $1.83, to $16.46. It was also another very heavy day in Trina Solar share volume, with close to 12 million shares traded, versus an average daily volume of 4 million shares. And to think, when Trina decided to split its stock not that long ago, it thought the additional liquidity would be a good thing.
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has seen $40 of its share value eroded in less than three weeks, and is now back where the solar bears always thought it should be trading, at $110 as opposed to $150, a price First Solar shares had reached on April 29.
, which recovered from an accounting crisis in late 2009 -- only to see its fourth quarter and first quarter 2010 earnings send its shares ever lower -- reached another all-time low, just over $12, on Monday. Of course, that all-time low lasted for one day, as the euro's continued deterioration on Tuesday led SunPower shares down another 4%, in continued heavy selling -- close to 5 million shares traded on Tuesday versus average daily volume of 3 million shares.