Solar Stocks Higher as Renewable Energy MLP Bill Re-Introduced in Congress (FSLR)

April 24, 2013 11:24 AM EDT
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First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) and other solar names, as represented broadly by ETF Guggenheim Solar (NYSE: TAN), are sharply higher Wednesday possibly related to word the MLP Parity Act is being re-introduced today in the House and Senate.

Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov notes: "Recall, an earlier version of this bill quietly languished in committee in the last (112th) Congress, and with the new session having started in January, it is being revived in both chambers. There are five sponsors in the House (three Republicans and two Democrats), and four in the Senate (two from each party). The incoming Secretary of Energy also endorsed renewable MLPs at his recent confirmation hearing. In this industry brief, we (1) explain the relevance of MLPs for renewable energy, (2) recap what the bill is all about, and (3) sketch out the admittedly hazy legislative roadmap."

Molchanov said the bill could cut the cost of capital by 30-50 percent.

Commenting on if such a bill would ever pass, Molchanov notes that while renewable energy generally has bipartisan support, "in the context of the current political climate in Washington, this issue simply isn't high enough on the congressional agenda to make it out of committee and onto the floor for actual votes." He doesn't think a bill would realistically come to a vote on a stand-alone basis but could be attached to a "grand bargain"-esque package of comprehensive tax reform.

Shares of FSLR are up 9 percent mid-day Wednesday. TAN is up 2.7 percent.

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