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Trump’s ‘Solar Wall’ Talk Boosts Green Energy Stocks

Nellis Air Force Base Commemorates Opening Of Solar ArrayNellis Air Force Base Commemorates Opening Of Solar Array
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 16: Dignitaries look at solar panels during a dedication ceremony to commemorate the completion of the 102-acre, 15-megawatt Solar Array II Generating Station at Nellis Air Force Base on February 16, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. When coupled with the 13.2-megawatt Nellis Solar Star project completed in 2007, Nellis has the largest solar photovoltaic system in the Department of Defense. During daylight hours the two solar fields combined provide almost all of the base's energy needs or about 42 percent of its overall electricity requirements. Power from the array that is not used will go to the NV Energy grid and back into the local community. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)Ethan Miller Getty Images

Shares of solar companies soared on Thursday and their options drew a rush of bullish activity a day after U.S. President Donald Trump broached the subject of placing solar-power panels on his proposed wall along the Mexican border.

First Solar’s (FSLR) shares rose 3.2% to $38.42 and SunPower (SPWR) shares were up 13% to $8.69. Shares of the Guggenheim Solar (TAN) fund rose 2.5% to $19.39.

Raymond James energy analyst Pavel Molchanov cited Trump’s comments about possibly putting solar panels on the wall during a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday as the reason behind the spike in the shares.

“Trump talked yesterday about a ‘solar wall’ on the Mexican border — that might sound like a joke but it’s not,” he said.

Solar panels are among proposals that have been submitted by companies interested in the wall project to the Department of Homeland Security, according to media reports.

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Molchanov warned investors this was not a good reason to chase the rally in shares.

“Setting aside the broader question of whether the wall will even be politically realistic, the notion that it will be covered in solar hardware is entirely far-fetched,” he said. “It is hard to take this idea seriously.”

Molchanov has a “market perform” rating on First Solar and an “outperform” rating on SunPower.

Traders in the options market took the opportunity to load up on bullish call options on First Solar, SunPower and Canadian Solar Inc.

Calls convey the right to buy shares at a fixed price in the future and usually are used to place bets on shares rising.

What You Need to Know About How Solar Energy Works

Near-term calls on First Solar and SunPower changed hands at a rapid pace, sending trading volume to several times their daily average, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert.

Solar stocks, including Vivint Solar and Sunrun (RUN) got a boost on Tuesday after Goldman Sachs (GS) upgraded its rating on Vivint to “buy,” citing potential for mergers and acquisitions in the sector.