The solar energy industry has grown rapidly even as fossil fuels remain the dominant source of global energy use. Solar industry companies come from multiple sectors, including utilities, industrial, and energy, and include popular stocks such as SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) and SunRun Inc. (RUN). While some large utilities and energy companies have solar and renewable energy divisions, these businesses typically are not included in the industry's listings because the parent's primary focus is not solar.
Solar stocks, represented by the Invesco Solar ETF (TAN), have dramatically outperformed the broader market over the past year. TAN has provided a total return of 266.8% over the last 12 months, well above the Russell 1000's total return of 66.1%, as of March 12, 2021. These figures are exceptionally high as they are based off of severely depressed equity prices during the bottom of last year's bear market. All statistics in the tables below are as of March 12, 2021.
Here are the top three solar stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.
These are the solar stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.
|Best Value Solar Stocks|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio|
|Canadian Solar Inc. ( CSIQ)||45.98||2.7||13.3|
|SunPower Corp. ( SPWR)||36.30||6.2||15.0|
|First Solar Inc. ( FSLR)||81.95||8.7||22.0|
- Canadian Solar Inc.: Canadian Solar is a Canada-based solar power company that designs, manufactures, and sells solar module products that convert sunlight into electricity.
- SunPower Corp.: SunPower designs and builds silicon photovoltaic cells and related solar materials. The company announced in mid-February financial results for its 2020 fiscal year (FY), which ended January 3, 2021. SunPower posted net income of $474.0 million compared to a net loss of $7.7 million in FY 2019. Total revenue rose 3.0%.
- First Solar Inc.: First Solar designs and manufactures solar power systems and solar modules. The company utilizes a thin film semiconductor technology to manufacture its solar modules.
These are the solar stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth or lowest EPS decline for the most recent quarter. A company’s ability to maintain profitability in a difficult business environment can be a sign of good management and/or a strong business model.
|Solar Stocks With the Most Profit Growth or Least Profit Decline|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||EPS Growth (%)|
|SunPower Corp. (SPWR)||36.30||6.2||6,830|
|Daqo New Energy Corp. ( DQ)||94.22||6.5||285.7|
|ReneSola Ltd. ( SOL)||16.05||1.1||-30.7|
- SunPower Corp.: See above for company description.
- Daqo New Energy Corp.: Daqo New Energy, based in China, manufactures polysilicon for sale to manufacturers of solar technology products. The company recently announced financial results for FY 2020, which ended December 31, 2020. The company reported a 353.2% increase in net income as revenue rose 93%. Net income was boosted by the cost of revenues and operating expenses that increased at a slower pace than revenue.
- ReneSola Ltd.: ReneSola is an international renewable energy company that builds and manages energy projects. The company primarily focuses on the development, construction management, and financing of solar power projects.
These are the solar stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.
|Solar Stocks with the Most Momentum|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)|
SunHydrogen Inc. ( HYSR)
|Sunworks Inc. ( SUNW)||15.86||0.4||2,810|
|ReneSola Ltd. (SOL)||16.05||1.1||1,570|
|Invesco Solar ETF (TAN)||N/A||N/A||266.8|
- SunHydrogen Inc.: SunHydrogen, formerly known as HyperSolar, provides renewable energy services. The company is developing a system to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water. SunHydrogen announced in mid-February an agreement with SCHMID Group, a German-based electronics and energy systems company, to develop a process platform that enables mass manufacturing of SunHydrogen's Gen 2 NanoParticle hydrogen panels.
- Sunworks Inc.: Sunworks provides high-performance solar power systems. The company also offers operations and development services for solar energy projects. Sunworks announced on January 11 the appointment of Gaylon Morris as chief executive officer (CEO). Mr. Morris has two decades of experience leading large-scale engineering and construction companies through stages of transition and growth.
- ReneSola Ltd.: See above for company description.
The comments, opinions, and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described on our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.
YCharts. "Financial Data." Accessed March 15, 2021.
SunPower Corp. "SunPower Reports Strong Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Results." Accessed March 15, 2021.
Daqo New Energy Corp. "Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Results." Accessed March 15, 2021.
ReneSola Power. "Investor Home." Accessed March 15, 2021.
SunHydrogen Inc. "SunHydrogen Partners with Schmid Group of Germany." Accessed March 15, 2021.
Sunworks Inc. "News Releases: Mon Jan 11th, 2021 – Sunworks Names Gaylon Morris as Chief Executive Officer." Accessed March 15, 2021.