Another potential challenge down the road is IKEA, which announced last month it plans to sell CIGS panels produced by Hanergy of China, in England, for 5,700 British pounds ($9,120), with do-it-yourself installation. That's less than half the cost of a typical California roof installation now.
SolarCity is currently installing polysilicon panels, and last week acquired Zep Solar, which supplies mounting modules that also convert panels' DC power to AC for the grid, for $158 million in stock. Zep licenses its designs to Chinese polysilicon panel makers, who will now be paying those license fees to SolarCity.
In addition to the solar halo, SolarCity also has the Elon Musk halo. Co-founders Lyndon and Peter Rive are cousins of Musk, a native of South Africa who is also founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors (TSLA), and who previously co-founded Paypal. Musk's net worth in September was estimated at $8.8 billion.
Critics point out that this is a company that has never made money, which is irrelevant, and that it's closely manipulated by the founders, which is relevant. The company said last week it would sell $125 million in new equity, 3.4 million shares, to a collection of large shareholders, including Musk, which comes to under $37/share. The stock closed Friday at $47.18.Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV