E Is The Sun Set To Rise On ASTI?

TM editors' note: This article discusses a penny stock and/or microcap. Such stocks are easily manipulated; do your own careful due diligence.

In the battered and beaten solar sector, one company is still standing and getting ready to reinvent itself for what could be a very interesting sunrise. Ascent Solar Technology Inc. (ASTI), is going to be the company to put solar in places where solar is not usually found. They are looking to be more adaptive and flexible with what they call “niche solar” and with their new cutting-edge CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide) photovoltaic technology on flexible, plastic substrate is set to go all over this world and beyond.

ASTI, like many solar companies, got its start as oil prices soared out of control. The world was desperate for alternatives to oil when many in the world thought that we were running out of oil and many solar companies surge on ‘”peak oil” optimism.

Solar companies soared and so did ASTI with their stock hitting a high of $248 dollars a share as the company and Wall Street felt they had a superior consumer solar product that could fit the needs of America and the world that was soon looking for ways to keep their latest smartphone charged.

They started a consumer business called “Enerplex” products that made solar and battery power banks for smartphones. It was a top-notch product with superior technology. Yet in the world of consumer products, sometimes having a better product isn’t the only key to success (remember Beta vs. VHS?). If consumers are not aware that a superior product is better, or even needed, they may settle for cheaper alternatives which they believe might satisfy their needs. Worse, the market was saturated with a flood of cheap Chinese knockoffs and it was difficult for consumers to initially discern the difference.

There was also the solar panel business that many retail companies wanted to buy from ASTI, but that business was hit by harsh conditions as major retailers started to go the way of the horse and buggy. One of their biggest customers, the Sports Authority, went bankrupt and closed its door. This led to people questioning the viability of this company and many predicted that ASTI would be just another victim to the solar craze and end up on the dust heap of solar history. There were concerns about their balance sheet after the retail business had challenges and the stock price suffered. 

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Howie Sandberg 2 years ago Member's comment

Between #AscentSolars' new deal with #Energizer and this new push for government contract, things are really looking up for $ASTI.

Jimmy Richards 2 years ago Member's comment

$ASTI should sell to private military contractors as well. I believe they'd do well in that space.

David M. Green 2 years ago Member's comment

It's clear that in order for $ASTI to skyrocket, the company will need to close the deal on a government contract. But what is the likelihood of that and what would the timeframe be?

Barry Hochhauser 2 years ago Member's comment

Well, the company is clearly in the running. And it's not like they are putting all their eggs in one basket - shifting some of it's focus to government contracts is a smart strategic move for the company and will almost certainly generate at least some revenue, if not a substantial amount. But that's not all the company does. It still has a retail division does it not?

Ayelet Wolf 2 years ago Member's comment

Yes, government is not it's only focus. I know they recenlty struck a deal with Energizer. Likely more companies will follow suit. $ASTI has some of the best technology in this space.

Mike Faragut 2 years ago Member's comment

Hi Phil, thanks for the article. How would you rate the #solar industry as a whole these days?

Phil Flynn 2 years ago Author's comment

I think there are some opportunities

Donald Kaplan 2 years ago Member's comment

$ASTI sounds like an interesting find with some real potential.

Carl Schwartz 2 years ago Member's comment

Wow, hard to believe $ASTI was once selling for $248 a share. When was that? What are the odds that it will climb anywhere near as high again? I don't know much about #solar stocks but am inclined to learn more.

Barry Hochhauser 2 years ago Member's comment

#AscentSolar sounds like an interesting play. It certainly sounds undervalued when one weighs the cost of shares vs. the upside potential. But I can't find much information about this company. How do the financials look? How do they compare to the competition? $ASTI

John Fitch 2 years ago Member's comment

I too would like to hear more about any potential risks. No stock is a sure thing. Though I'll likely pick up some shares of $ASTI while the price is clearly depressed.

Craig Newman 2 years ago Member's comment

Sound advice.

Duke Peters 2 years ago Member's comment

I'm sold. At this price, it's worth a little risk. This #CIGS technology sounds promising and the military and aerospace industries are incredibly lucrative!

Flat Broke 2 years ago Member's comment

I'd agree with that! :)

Alpha Stockman 2 years ago Member's comment

Yes, but does $ASTI have any contracts with these industries? Are they at least in negotations? Though being invited to the SOCOM TE17 event is certainly a promising start either way.

Alexis Renault 2 years ago Member's comment

Can you better explain what "monolithic-integration" is? I understand that the benefit is that damaged panels will still work? But at what capacity? And what does "monolithic-integration actually mean? $ASTI

Kate Monroe 2 years ago Member's comment

I too would like a better understanding of the technology itself. I understand the christmas lights analagy, but when I lose a light, the rest of the strand stays lit. Are other solar panels really so bad that the whole panel will go dead if there is damage to only a minor damage? If the problem with Christmas lights has been solved, why would other companies design the panels so poorly.

Barry Hochhauser 2 years ago Member's comment

He did say "most" othe companies. So clearly not all do that. But it makes me wonder how much of a competative edge this company truly has.

Jared Green 2 years ago Member's comment

$ASTI has the technology patented. I'd say that gives them a pretty good edge.

Barry Hochhauser 2 years ago Member's comment

Yes, that's a good point. I missed that in the article. Thanks.

Bill Johnson 2 years ago Member's comment

$ASTI sounds like it has some very ambitious plans. If they can pull it off, this company will be huge. But what are the qualifications of it's management team to ensure it can achieve it's vision? I'm curious to learn more about the company.

Mike Nolan 2 years ago Member's comment

I'd have to echo these sentiments. $ASTI certainly sounds like a risk worth taking, but I'd like to hear more about the company and its competitors.