First Solar (FSLR) announced on Wednesday that five of the company's senior executives have this week purchased a total of 5,500 shares in the company, adding to their current holdings. That would imply a value of just over half a million dollars. Which executives were involved and full details are provided in the press release from First Solar here.
Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar said: "First Solar's leadership team has confidence in the company's long-term growth prospects and our ability to develop new markets and execute our cost, technology and project road maps."
The executives at First Solar only have four annual trading windows and consequently their decision to purchase now is less about precise market timing than it is about the timing of the permissible trading window. Nevertheless, it does show a degree of confidence in the company's outlook from committed senior executives.
From that point of view, the purchases are worth noting as another sign that confidence is growing in the view that the worst of the bad news is priced in and that good companies in the beaten down solar sector now represent good value. As a reminder, this adds to the following recent evidence in the same direction:
- We are close to the end of a very bad stream of Q2 earnings in the solar sector and a number of individual names have been able to rally following the announcement of bad numbers - obviously a clear sign that the market has priced in the bad news - more here.
- After Yingli Green Energy's (YGE) recent earnings announcement, Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral and Avian Securities upgraded to Positive from Negative.
- On August 8th the Board of JA Solar (JASO) approved a $100m share repurchase program. More detail here.
- On August 22nd, Renesola's (SOL) Board approved a similar $100m share repurchase program. More detail here.
The recovery trade in the solar sector appears to be under way and all of the above certainly helps to add confidence to the trade.
Disclosure: I am long JASO.