China: New Empire of the Sun?

Cramer hasn’t liked Chinese solar stocks. It’s just that simple. Caller after caller has all but begged for his blessing, but he’s waved them off with disdain. Until now.

China’s Ministry of Finance this week announced that it would subsidize at least 50% of the capital cost for solar installations. Additional assistance will come in the form of low-interest-rate loans, which is crucial because even the Middle Kingdom couldn’t escape the credit crunch.

The news is so big that it now puts two stocks in play, Cramer said, Yingli Green Energy and Suntech Power Holdings . They are speculative picks that offer “a lot of upside, if you’re willing to take the risk.”

The catch here is that the subsidies won’t do much for 2009 earnings. Not to mention that solar panel prices are down, while inventories are up. So both companies could very well disappoint investors with earnings reports later in the year. And if oil falls to $50 a barrel, the entire sector could take a hit.

But that would be an opportunity, not a loss, Cramer said. He urged investors to use that chance to buy Yingli and Suntech and better prices.

There are risks here, though. Investors should watch Cramer’s full report on these two companies to find out what they are. Those who’d rather play it safe should just stick with Cramer fave First Solar , “the uncontested best-of-breed name in the space,” he said.

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