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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR)

- NASDAQ
  • Nov. 5, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 28, 2014, 10:23 AM
    • SunEdison (SUNE +3.4%) has signed an MOU with the Indian desert state of Rajasthan to "establish 5 GWs of capacity in the form of multiple Mega Solar Projects, with the expected capacity of each Mega Solar project 500 megawatts or more."
    • Rajasthan "aspires to create 25GW of solar capacity in the state in the next few years." Too ambitious? The national government is only aiming for 15GW by 2019. India's total installed solar capacity is currently at 2.7GW.
    • Separately, First Solar (FSLR +3.1%) and Acme Solar (a firm backed by a French utility) are set to win licenses to build major solar plants in Southern India, after offering the lowest electricity prices in an auction. SunEdison and two other firms are also set to win projects.
    • SunEdison and First Solar are among the many solar names rallying today.
    | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 23, 2014, 11:59 AM
    • Southern Company's (SO +0.4%) Souther Power subsidiary tops 300 megawatts of solar generating capacity in California with the purchase of the 150-MW Solar Gen 2 facility from First Solar (FSLR +2.5%).
    • Solar Gen 2 is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 60K average CA homes. Construction of the project by First Solar began last year and is expected to be completed before year-end.
    • The juice from the plant is contracted to San Diego Gas & Electric on a 25-year agreement.
    • Source: Press Release
    | 3 Comments
  • Oct. 14, 2014, 3:31 PM
    • Global growth, foreign-exchange, oil, and small caps are the subject of every client inquiry, says David Kostin. His team's recommendation: Buy "American exceptionalism."
    • In Kostin's view, U.S. economy and corporate fundamentals are still strong, with economic growth expected by Goldman economists to be 3.2% next year, the fastest expansion since 2005. Europe is expected to grow just 1%.
    • What his team likes are those stocks of companies which have a high proportion of domestic sales, plus sectors like Consumer Staples (XLP -0.1%) and Discretionary (XLY +0.7%) which stand to benefit from lower oil prices (plunging again today).
    • As for small caps (IWM +0.9%), Kostin is wary, noting downward earnings revisions have boosted small cap P/E ratios even as prices have declined.
    • The list of S&P 500 names capturing two or more of Kostin's themes: GT, GM, PCLN, AMZN, CMCSA, LOW, DG, TSN, ADM, CVS, AVP, WAG, PXD, HAL, JPM, BAC, SCHW, PNC, MS, C, GNW, LNC, MET, THC, AET, UNH, ESRX, HUM, WLP, BIIB, GILD, DAL, CMI, FLR, CRM, JBL, MA, FB, MU, FSLR, VMC, MON, T.
    | 26 Comments
  • Oct. 13, 2014, 4:09 PM
    • Solar and fuel cell companies are among the biggest decliners on a day that saw NYMEX crude oil prices fall below $85/barrel (they're now slightly above), and Reuters report the Saudi government "will accept oil prices below $90 per barrel, and perhaps down to $80, for as long as a year or two." The Nasdaq as a whole finished down 1.4%.
    • Of note: Oil only accounts for 1% of U.S. electricity production, and also a small percentage of electricity output in many other large economies.
    • Solar decliners: SUNE -10.7%. FSLR -5.9%. SCTY -9.7%. DQ -9.4%. CSIQ -8.1%.JASO -7.7%. SOL -8.6%. TERP -7.5%. JKS -6.7%. CSUN -5.9%. VSLR -6.3%. TSL -8.7%. YGE -5%.
    • Fuel cell decliners: FCEL -6%. PLUG -4.7%. BLDP -7.4%.
    • Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
    | 24 Comments
  • Sep. 22, 2014, 1:45 PM
    • High-beta tech stocks are selling off hard as the Nasdaq registers a 1.3% decline. The selling is broad-based, with Internet, solar, and enterprise tech stocks all well-represented among the ranks of major decliners.
    • Major Internet decliners: BIDU -4.7%. ANGI -7%. YELP -5.9%. AWAY -5.1%. CHGG -5.9%. GRUB -5.8%. P -5.2%. Z -4.6%. TRLA -4.8%. ATHM -7.9%. BITA -7%. DANG -5.9%. WB -5.3%.
    • Solar: FSLR -4.5%. SCTY -7.5%. SPWR -4.5%. DQ -7.6%. JKS -5.5%. ASTI -6.3%. ENPH -5.5%. CSIQ -4.8%.
    • Enterprise: WDAY -5.4%. GIMO -6.7%. VMEM -7.7%. IMPV -4.8%. MKTO -4.9%. SPRT -5.1%. CSOD -5.5%.
    • Others: HIMX -4.6%. SIGM -5.6%. WATT -9.7%. CYNI -5.3%. ADNC -5.7%. PXLW -5%. SWIR -5.8%. MITK -6%. OCLR -6%.
    | 14 Comments
  • Sep. 12, 2014, 2:14 PM
    • Solar stocks are on the move after Trina Solar (TSL +3.7%) CEO Gao Jifan says its factories are operating at full capacity but the company still can't meet the demand for its solar panels.
    • China's top three solar panel makers are at full capacity and will have to expand their production, Gao says, noting that TSL's solar panel production will rise to 3.8 GW by year-end, up from ~3.4 GW at the end of June.
    • China recently announced new subsidies for smaller solar energy projects, which Goldman Sachs says will make selling power to the country's electrical grid much more lucrative for the operators and will cause prices of solar components to rise.
    • CSIQ +2.6%, CSUN +7.4%, YGE +3%, FSLR +1.7%, SPWR +0.8%, JASO +2.4%, SOL +5.4%.
    • ETFs: TAN, KWT
    | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 26, 2014, 9:55 AM
    • BofA/Merrill thinks First Solar (FSLR -0.1%) will likely decide not to create a YieldCo, a move it argues would remove the company's ability to sell projects at more attractive valuations.
    • Needham cited the potential for a YieldCo as a reason for upgrading First Solar following its Q2 report. On the CC (transcript), CEO Jim Hughes remained non-committal. "On the YieldCo, in terms of details, one we haven't reach the decision and two, I don't think we're prepared to discuss details other than to say, we're obviously close observers of the marketplace."
    • Following the successful IPO of SunEdison's TerraForm Power unit, a number of solar firms have said they're considering a YieldCo.
    | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 12, 2014, 3:50 PM
    • Citi's Shahriar Pourreza: "Our sector tilt is favorable towards solar downstream names versus the upstream manufacturers - First Solar (FSLR +0.1%) is the bellwether in the downstream market."
    • Pourreza predicts First Solar's "balance sheet strength and bankability premium" should "should allow it to continue to capture large scale projects in key growth regions globally."
    • Shares are closing near breakeven on a day when many solar stocks are down over 4%. They remain well above where they traded going into last week's Q2 report.
    | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 6, 2014, 7:44 AM
    • First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) -3% premarket, recovering roughly half of losses following its Q2 earnings miss; Needham's upgrade of shares to Buy from Hold may be helping.
    • In explaining the upgrade, with a $75 price target, the firm cites factors including a high likelihood of a FSLR yieldco, thus creating meaningful value; positive metrics supporting greater growth trajectory ahead; near-term opportunities created by the U.S. tariffs on Chinese modules; and strong efficiency gains.
    • Although Q2 results were weak due to "lumpy" timing of project revenue, Needham says it is not concerned and instead focused on FSLR's strong YTD bookings, increased expected revenue and long-term pipeline expansion, suggesting strengthening of FSLR's business.
    • Also, Brean Capital maintains its Buy rating and $83 price target, saying FSLR's Q2 results were unexpected but the shortfall is not material to the stock's valuation; the firm notes FSLR's cadmium telluride technology efficiency has surpassed crystalline, which it considers a significant positive going forward (Briefing.com).
    | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 5, 2014, 4:41 PM
    • In spite of its big Q2 miss, First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is reiterating guidance for full-year EPS of $2.40-$2.80 (consensus is at $2.70) and operating cash flow of $300M-$500M.
    • The Q2 miss is blamed on project delays that led to deferred revenue recognition to 2H14, and the push-out of revenue recognition for the Campo Verde project.
    • Thanks to the shortfall, gross margin dropped to 17% from 27% a year ago. Opex fell 10% to $90.8M. Net cash was $1.2B at quarter's end.
    • Expected future systems/3rd-party module revenue is up $500M Q/Q to $7.6B, and expected module shipments for systems and 3rd-party modules is up by 400MW to 3.2GW.
    • Potential bookings opportunities are up 500MW to 12.7GW; the lion's share are called "early-stage," and nearly half are in North America. Operations & maintenance (O&M) bookings are above 800MW YTD, thanks in part to the Skytron acquisition.
    • Module production +1% Q/Q and +15% Y/Y to 447MW, and average conversion efficiency rose 50 bps Q/Q and 100 bps Y/Y to 14%. First Solar has achieved a 21% cell efficiency in lab tests, beating a prior mark of 20.4%.
    • FSLR -5.3% AH. Q2 results, PR, slides
    | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 5, 2014, 4:07 PM
    • First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR): Q2 EPS of $0.04 may not be comparable to consensus of $0.37.
    • Revenue of $544M (+4.7% Y/Y) misses by $251.88M.
    • Shares -5.9%.
    • Press Release
    | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 4, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Aug. 1, 2014, 12:26 PM
    • Solar stocks are underperforming (TAN -4%) amid a market selloff after SunPower (SPWR -8.5%) posted mixed Q2 results and provided Q3/2014 guidance ranges with midpoints below consensus.
    • SunPower also announced it's building a new plant (Fab 5) that could go live in 2017 and eventually produce 700MW+/year of modules, boosting its capacity by over 50%. "Our share has been in single digits for a while and demand for the last 24 months suggests that we can expand share," says CEO Tom Werner.
    • The announcement comes 6 weeks after SolarCity (SCTY -3.5%) unveiled plans to build a 1GW+ module plant with newly-acquired Silevo's help, and said it will later build "one or more significantly larger plants at an order of magnitude greater annual production capacity."
    • Minimal capacity investments, together with rising U.S./Asian demand, have helped module prices stabilize following gut-wrenching declines in prior years.
    • Also: SunPower stated on its CC (transcript) it hasn't decided whether to create a solar project YieldCo similar to SunEdison's (SUNE -4.3%) TerraForm Power (TERP -4.7%), which recently turned in a strong IPO. "It does not look like the company is likely to make a decision anytime soon," says Raymond James.
    • Nonetheless, Brean has upgraded SunPower to Buy, citing optimism about strong demand and healthy pricing.
    • Other notable decliners: FSLR -3.6%. TSL -8.4%. JKS -6%. CSIQ -5.6%. CSUN -5.7%. YGE -5%. SOL -4.5%. ENPH -5.8%. RGSE -4.5%. HSOL -3.9%. JASO -4.4%.
    | 7 Comments
  • Jul. 28, 2014, 7:59 AM
    • Solar names are under pressure following the U.S. government's move to place anti-dumping duties as high as 165% percent on solar panels and cells from China.
    • China condemns the action, saying "if escalating problems in the China-U.S. solar industry are ignored, in the end it will damage up and downstream industries in both countries."
    • Moving sharply lower premarket: YGE -5.1%, CSIQ -4.3%, JKS -3.8%, TSL -2.7%, JASO -2.5%, SCTY -2.2%, HSOL -4.9%
    • Moving up: SPWR +1.8%, FSLR +2.7%.
    • ETFs: TAN, KWT
    | 6 Comments
  • Jul. 27, 2014, 10:18 PM
    • The Commerce Department has imposed preliminary anti-dumping tariffs ranging from 26%-165% on Chinese and Taiwanese solar cell/module imports. The tariffs come on top of the anti-subsidy tariffs imposed in early June, and in spite of a WTO ruling declaring U.S. solar tariffs violate global trade rules.
    • Among the affected exporters,Trina (NYSE:TSL) is getting off the lightest: Between the June and July tariffs, it's dealing with a combined rate of 29.3%.
    • Yingli (NYSE:YGE), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), and Hanwha (NASDAQ:HSOL) are set to pay a combined rate of 47.27%, and Suntech (NYSE:STP) a combined rate of 49.24%. ReneSola (NYSE:SOL) and JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS) have to pay a 58.87% anti-dumping rate.
    • Chinese module makers can pay 2012 tariff rates instead if they use Chinese (rather than Taiwanese) cells. Those rates are generally a little milder, often ranging from 24%-31%.
    • "The tariffs in this case are so high as to prohibit basically any manufacturer from selling at a competitive price in to the U.S," says GTM Research's Shayle Kann. A final DOC ruling on the tariffs is expected around Dec. 15, and an ITC ruling on Jan. 29. (the full ruling - .pdf)
    • U.S. rivals First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) stand to benefit. Their shares rose following the June tariff announcement.
    • Other Chinese solar firms: JASO, CSUN, LDK
    | 20 Comments
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Company Description
First Solar Inc is a provider of solar energy solutions. It designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with a thin-film semiconductor technology. It also manufactures crystalline silicon solar modules.