Zacks Industry Rank Analysis Highlights: JinkoSolar Holdings and First Solar

CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Stocks featured in this week's Zacks Industry Rank analysis include JinkoSolar Holdings Co. (NYSE: JKS-Free Report) and First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR-Free Report).

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Zacks Industry Rank Analysis is written by John Blank, PhD, Chief Equity Strategist, Zacks.com.

Sun Shining on the Solar Industry

The politics of Washington can often be found driving the economies of scale.  With the solar winds of change pointing in the direction of alternative energy, the U.S. is seeing a boom in demand for solar panels which, combined with newer technologies, is bringing down prices while increasing outputs.

Fourteen companies make up the Solar sector of the Zacks Industry Rank, gaining 3 positions last week.  While not a remarkable shift, its place at #10 out of 260 ranked industries displays strong momentum. 

Four recent positive earnings revisions, and none to the negative, have caught investors' attention. Companies in the space are averaging a remarkable +45% positive earnings per share surprises.  

Other factors, such as overseas expansion, are making the conversion to solar energy a global phenomenon.  Below are two companies which have moved into the prime position of a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) this week as a result.  With triple-digit EPS surprises already in the bag, both companies are poised for growth.  This, combined with performance of the sector as a whole, is important when building an investment strategy capable of powering your portfolio.

These companies are hoping you see the light, in more than a few ways.

JinkoSolar Holdings Co. (NYSE: JKS-Free Report)

JKS was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) last week from #2 (Buy).

JinkoSolar Holding Co. is a solar product manufacturer with operations based in Jiangxi Province and Zhejiang Province in China. JinkoSolar has built a vertically integrated solar product value chain from recovered silicon materials to solar modules. With a global network spanning across Europe, North America and Asia, they are strategically poised to take advantage of China's booming solar industry, as well as other nations that are playing catch-up.

JKS last earnings surprise was +288% and it holds a Zacks Recommendation of "Outperform."  It reports its next earnings on April 9, 2014.

First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR-Free Report)

FSLR is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).  It moved up from a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) last week.  This company reports quarterly earnings on February 25, 2014.

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced thin film semiconductor process that significantly lowers solar electricity costs.  Though the market for solar technology is competitive, its stable liquidity position and expertise in other areas of the solar value chain should enable it to remain on solid footing.

FSLR's last earnings surprise was +147% and has expected EPS growth of +10%.

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