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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR)

- NASDAQ
  • Jun. 3, 2014, 12:37 PM
    • First Solar (FSLR -1.4%) is buying skyton-energy, a provider of solar plant monitoring/control hardware and software, as well as related operations & maintenance (O&M) services, from Germany's AEG Power. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Skytron's systems are currently installed within 600 European solar plants possessing a combined 5GW of capacity - more than 2x First Solar's current portfolio of monitored assets.
    • The deal strengthens First Solar's portfolio of solar installation/management offerings as it battles for new solar project contracts, and bolsters its European foothold. The company had a 12.2GW pipeline of potential booking opportunities at the end of Q1.
    • Shares are lower, but less so than many solar peers.
    | 3 Comments
  • May 29, 2014, 2:45 PM
    • SunEdison has filed an S-1 for its anticipated solar project spinoff. The spinoff, named TerraForm Power, will own a slew of SunEdison-built solar projects, while generating revenue (and distributing related cash flows) from electricity sale agreements.
    • The IPO might pave the way for other companies with sizable downstream project portfolios, such as First Solar (FSLR +2.8%), JinkoSolar (JKS +9.7%), and Trina (TSL +8.2%), to do spinoffs of their own. SunEdison's move comes after SolarCity (SCTY +5.6%) twice raised funds by selling solar asset-backed notes.
    • Solar stocks are following SunEdison higher (TAN +2.6%). In addition to the aforementioned companies, gainers include SunPower (SPWR +2.5%), Yingli (YGE +3.5%), Canadian Solar (CSIQ +4.6%), and Daqo (DQ +1.5%).
    | 2 Comments
  • May 23, 2014, 9:11 AM
    • Southern Co. (SO) and Turner Renewable Energy agree to acquire the largest solar facility in New Mexico, the 50 MW Macho Springs solar facility, from First Solar (FSLR).
    • The facility is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 18K homes in El Paso Electric's (EE) service territory.
    • Financial terms are not disclosed.
    | 14 Comments
  • May 21, 2014, 4:00 PM
    • First Solar (FSLR +3%), along with Australian solar firm Ingenero, plans to develop a hybrid diesel-solar project in Queensland, Australia. The project will provide power for a Rio Tinto bauxite mine, and is expected to be finished in late 2014.
    • Shares have joined a solar stock rally that has come in the wake of Trina's strong Q2 outlook. They've been gradually trending lower since mid-March after taking off in response to the company's analyst day guidance.
    | 3 Comments
  • May 7, 2014, 11:45 AM
    • A Q1 beat and full-year guidance hike aren't enough to keep First Solar (FSLR -4.2%) from selling off. Possibly contributing: In spite of the guidance hike, First Solar stated on its CC (transcript) Q2 EPS "will be significantly lower" than a $0.60 consensus due to project timings; that implies 2014 results will be very back-end loaded.
    • Also: First Solar disclosed in its earnings slides (.pdf) its expected future systems/3rd-party module revenue is down $400M from the end of 2013 to $7.1B. However, expected module shipments are up by 100MW to 2.8GW, and potential booking opportunities have risen by 1.6GW to 12.2GW.
    • Module production totaled 441MW, -1% Q/Q and +19% Y/Y. Conversion efficiency rose 10 bps Q/Q and 60 bps Y/Y to 13.5%, with lead-line efficiency rising 30 bps Q/Q and 120 bps Y/Y to 14.2%. The company is aiming for 18.1%-18.9% lead-line efficiency by 2017.
    • Other solar stocks are also off (TAN -2.8%), as investors continue showing a take-no-prisoners attitude towards momentum stocks in general. Canadian Solar (CSIQ +0.3%) has given back the premarket gains it saw following a Q1 guidance hike.
    • Notable decliners: SCTY -8.8%. SUNE -7%. TSL -5.5%. CSUN -5.1%. YGE -4.8%. SPWR -4.2%. DQ -5.7%.
    | 1 Comment
  • May 6, 2014, 4:17 PM
    • First Solar (FSLR) has hiked its 2014 EPS guidance range by $0.20 to $2.40-$2.80; the consensus is at $2.49. Gross margin is now expected to be in a range of 17%-18% vs. a prior 16%-18%, and operating cash flow in a range of $300M-$500M vs. a prior $250M-$400M.
    • Gross margin rose 250 bps Y/Y in Q1 to 24.9%, contributing to First Solar's big EPS beat. A 10% drop in opex to $97.4M (compares with 26% rev. growth) also helped.
    • Due to project construction work, First Solar ended Q1 with $1.4B in cash/marketable securities, down $385M from the end of Q4.
    • Shares +4.5% AH.
    • Q1 results, PR
    | 1 Comment
  • May 6, 2014, 4:08 PM
    • First Solar (FSLR): Q1 EPS of $1.10 beats by $0.58.
    • Revenue of $950M (+25.8% Y/Y) beats by $112.1M.
    • Shares +5.2%.
    • Press Release
    | 5 Comments
  • May 6, 2014, 10:15 AM
    • First Solar (FSLR +0.8%) will act as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for a 19.76MW solar project in Kings County, CA, and a 23MW project in Kings and neighboring Kern County. The former project is expected to be finished in October, and the latter in Q1 2015.
    • Shares are up slightly ahead of this afternoon's Q1 report. The company had 2.7GW of expected future module shipments at the end of Q4, and $7.5B worth of expected future module/systems revenue.
    | 1 Comment
  • May 5, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Apr. 28, 2014, 2:15 PM
    • The latest rout in once-high-flying tech momentum plays isn't leaving solar stocks unscathed. The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN -6.2%) is now down 21% from its March 7 high of $51.07.
    • Likely adding fuel to the fire: Credit Suisse has slashed its 2014 Chinese solar installation forecast by 500MW to 11.5GW, soundly below the government's 14GW target (set in February). CS thinks policy changes related to utility-scale projects, feed-in tariff reimbursement, and distributed solar incentives are needed for investment to pick up.
    • The firm adds JinkoSolar (JKS -10.8%), Trina (TSL -12.2%), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ -12.8%) are well-positioned to profit from downstream projects, given they have access to financing from the China Development Bank and other sources. On the other hand, it thinks Yingli (YGE -4.1%) and ReneSola (SOL -8.8%) are "less likely to access project capital due to their strained balance sheets." Yingli recently priced a stock offering expected to yield $83M in net proceeds.
    • Other decliners: FSLR -5.3%. SCTY -7.1%. SUNE -6.8%. CSUN -9.8%. JASO -9.4%. DQ -9.3%. HSOL -5.9%. SPWR -5.1%.
    | 23 Comments
  • Apr. 16, 2014, 9:43 AM
    | 52 Comments
  • Apr. 11, 2014, 3:20 PM
    • Solar stocks are broadly lower following Yingli Green Energy's (YGE -5.1%) warning of greater than projected declines in PV module shipments in Q1.
    • The first solar company to make a Q1 pre-announcement, YGE estimated Q1 shipments fell by the low 30s in percentage points from Q4, below prior company guidance of a mid-20s decrease, due to softness in China and project delays in Algeria.
    • YGE reiterated its FY 2014 shipment guidance of 4.0-4.2 GW, and sees higher prices lifting Q1 margins more than expected.
    • Although some of YGE's weaknesses may have been company-specific, the warning has cast a shadow over solar stocks today: SUNE -2.4%, FSLR -2.9%, TSL -2.6%, SCTY -1.7%, SPWR -5.2%, JKS -7.6%.
    • ETFs: TAN, KWT
    | 5 Comments
  • Apr. 8, 2014, 4:00 PM
    • Smart bargain hunting or catching a falling knife? After being bludgeoned almost ceaselessly over the last couple of weeks, many high-beta tech stocks are closing the day with sizable gains.
    • The rebound comes on a day when hedge fund Coatue Management announced plans to return over $2B to investors following a 9% March decline caused by tech stock losses.  It also comes as several tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft, H-P, and IBM, finish the day near breakeven, or with modest losses.
    • Leading U.S. Internet gainers: LNKD +6.2%. P +6%. ZU +5%. SALE +7.2%. SSTK +6%. AOL +4.6%.
    • Chinese Internet gainers: EJ +9.1%. WBAI +8.9%. QIHU +7.9%. ATHM +8.1%. YY +6.8%. SFUN +8.7%. GOMO +9.8%. Ctrip and Qunar were among the sector's biggest gainers following M&A rumors.
    • Others: FSLR +7%. NMBL +6.2%. NPTN +5.9%. PANW +5.5%. EGHT +5.4%. RFMD +4.9%. QIWI +4.9%. CRUS +4.3%. RALY +5.5%.
    | 4 Comments
  • Apr. 4, 2014, 1:12 PM
    • Citi's Shahriar Pourreza has upped his First Solar (FSLR +1%) PT to $87 from $63, and is reiterating a Buy. He thinks the solar module/project giant will beat 2015/2016 consensus estimates, and expects higher ASPs to lift margins.
    • First Solar took off two weeks ago after setting 2014/2015 guidance and providing aggressive module efficiency targets at its analyst day. They're holding onto modest gains today even as the Nasdaq drops 2.5%.
    | 2 Comments
  • Mar. 19, 2014, 12:46 PM
    | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 19, 2014, 10:39 AM
    • First Solar (FSLR +10.6%) aims to increase its lead-line module manufacturing efficiency from 13.9% in Q4 to 15.6%-15.8% by the end of 2015, 17.7%-18.4% in 2016, and 18.1%-18.9% in 2017.
    • Installed manufacturing capacity is expected to grow from less than 2GW in 2014 to 3.5GW in 2018, with deployable capacity rising above 4GW.
    • The company says it has produced a thin-film module with a record 17% efficiency (up from a prior 16.1%). First Solar has already developed a thin-film cell with a 20.4% efficiency.
    • First Solar is extending its partnership with GE to include developing a new utility-scale plant design the companies assert "significantly increases the size of the solar array served by each inverter and reduces the number of inverter/transformer stations required for each plant" to convert DC power into grid-ready AC power.
    • First Solar's TetraSun unit (high-efficiency silicon solar cells) is set to begin production in late 2014.
    • Previous: First Solar soars after setting 2014-2016 guidance
    | 2 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.