What happened

Shares of solar power inverter-maker Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH), solar module manufacturer JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), and polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy (NYSE:DQ) all popped today — to varying degrees and on various news items affecting the solar industry.

In 2:10 p.m. EDT trading, Enphase shares are up 4%, Jinko is up 6.8%, and Daqo is doing best of all, enjoying a 16.6% bump in stock price.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The reasons for the price rises vary with the specific stocks. Enphase Energy, for example, is responding to a pre-earnings hike in the price target from stock analysts at J.P. Morgan. As TheFly.com reports today, J.P. believes investors will experience volatility in renewable energy stocks over the next few weeks as earnings reports come out and various stocks either surge or take hits on disappointing news.

Should the latter happen, J.P. advises investors to keep an eye out for “buying opportunities,” as Enphase — which the analyst says is worth $238 a share — gets discounted even below today’s $179-ish share price.

At Daqo, there’s an entirely different catalyst at work. Last week Daqo announced that it is IPO’ing 300 million shares of its subsidiary Xinjiang Daqo on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Sci-Tech innovation board tomorrow. Reportedly, the IPO price will be RMB 21.49 per share, but if the IPO pops to a higher price, this would benefit Daqo proper, as the owner of 80.7% of the subsidiary’s shares. Today’s share price action, by the way, strongly suggests that investors think the IPO will pop — to Daqo’s benefit.

Now what

Now what about the third solar stock on this list? What about JinkoSolar?

In contrast to Enphase and Daqo, there’s no specific news about JinkoSolar on the wires today. What there is, however, is an even bigger story — one that may encompass Enphase and Daqo as well. Specifically, The Wall Street Journal just reported that on the opposite side of the Sea of Japan from Jinko, the Japanese government has just announced an ambitious plan to double its use of renewable energy in order to halve its use of fossil fuels “over the next decade.”

A revival of the country’s nuclear power plans, as well as exploratory efforts in the use of hydrogen fuel, appear to be at the center of Japan’s renewable energy plans. However, wind and solar power will also make up a large part of the shift toward renewable — which should be good news for Jinko, and good news for solar stocks in general.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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