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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR)

  • Aug. 23, 2013, 10:19 AM
    • Pandora (P -12.8%) has been downgraded by Raymond James (Neutral) and Stifel (Hold) following its FQ2 beat, mixed guidance, and decision to remove its mobile listening cap.
    • VMware (VMW +2.7%) has been upgraded to Buy by Jefferies. The company's annual VMworld conference starts on Sunday.
    • CenturyLink (CTL +1.2%) has been upgraded to Neutral by Nomura.
    • Renren (RENN +6.8%) has been upgraded to Hold by Jefferies following the sale of its Nuomi group-buying site to Baidu. The firm downgraded Renren only a week ago.
    • First Solar (FSLR +1%) and Trina Solar (TSL +2.7%) have been upgraded to Market Perform by Raymond James. RJ downgraded First Solar in April.
    • Autodesk (ADSK +12.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley. Shares are surging after initially falling in AH trading in response to the light FQ3 guidance accompanying Autodesk's FQ2 beat.
    • (DATE -3.4%) has been cut to Market Perform by Oppenheimer two day after posting Q2 results.
    • SunEdison (SUNE -0.4%) has been upgraded to Buy by Needham a day after announcing plans to spin off its semiconductor wafer ops through an IPO.
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  • Aug. 8, 2013, 7:45 PM
  • Aug. 7, 2013, 11:34 AM
    • First Solar (FSLR -13.5%) is tanking following its Q2 miss and light 2013 guidance. Shares still +31% YTD and +253% from their June '12 low.
    • No downgrades have come in yet. Analysts are largely defending the company, talking up the GE deal and focusing on the impact of project sale timings on Q2 results.
    • Solar peers continue to dive (TAN -8.1%) thanks to First Solar and SunEdison's (I, II) results and guidance. SPWR -12.4%. TSL -7.5%. ASTI -7.1%. SCTY -5.5%. CSIQ -7.8%. SOL -9%. JASO -6.8%. LDK -6.5%.
    • First Solar's Q2 module production totaled 388.9MW, +5% Q/Q and Y/Y. Its total cost/watt fell $0.02 Q/Q and $0.05 Y/Y to $0.67. 2013 guidance is for a cost of $0.63-$0.66.
    • Capacity utilization is at 75%, flat Q/Q and +1200 bps Y/Y. Conversion efficiency +10 bps Q/Q and +40 bps Y/Y to 13%. 2013 lead-line exit guidance is at 14%.
    • Expected future module shipments stand at 2.2GW, down from 2.6GW at the end of 2012 (900MW in YTD shipments offsetting 500MW in new bookings). Expected future revenue at $7.6B vs. $8B at end of 2012.
    • CC transcript, slides, datasheet
  • Aug. 7, 2013, 9:14 AM
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  • Aug. 6, 2013, 5:44 PM
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  • Aug. 6, 2013, 4:34 PM
    • First Solar (FSLR) has acquired GE's thin-film (CdTe) solar patent portfolio in exchange for 1.75M shares (current value of $77M). GE promises to retain the shares for at least 3 years. (PR)
    • Also, First Solar is collaborating with GE Global Research on thin-film solar R&D; GE (34GW of global solar installations) has agreed to buy First Solar modules for future deployments, and First Solar has agreed to buy GE's solar inverters for use in its deployments.
    • First Solar also announces it has bought a 1.5GW pipeline of U.S. and Mexican solar projects from private Element Power for an undisclosed sum.
    • Q2 results were hurt by the push-out of the sale of First Solar's Canadian ABW solar projects to 2H.
    • First Solar's 2013 EPS guidance range would've been lowered by only $0.25 (rather than $0.50) if not for dilution from its stock offering and the GE deal.
    • Q2 gross margin was 27.1%, +470 bps Q/Q and +170 bps Y/Y. 2013 gross margin guidance has been raised to 22%-23% from 20%-22%.
    • Exc. restructuring charges, opex +16% Y/Y after multiple quarters of huge declines.
    • FSLR -7.4% AH
    • Q2 results, PR
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  • Aug. 6, 2013, 4:10 PM
    • First Solar (FSLR): Q2 EPS of $0.39 misses by $0.13.
    • Revenue of $519.8M (-46% Y/Y) misses by $201.3M.
    • Expects 2013 revenue of $3.6B-$3.8B, worse than prior guidance of $3.6B-$4B and consensus of $3.83B.
    • Expects 2013 EPS of $3.50-$4.00, below consensus of $4.14.
    • Shares -3.4% AH. CC at 4:30PM ET (webcast). (PR)
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  • Aug. 6, 2013, 12:10 AM
  • Aug. 5, 2013, 5:35 PM
  • Aug. 1, 2013, 7:03 PM
    • Though SunPower (SPWR -13.6%) beat Q2 estimates on the back of better-than-expected margins, and raised its 2013 EPS guidance well above consensus, light revenue figures helped spark a selloff. Also, investors may have decided SunPower's good news was more than priced in following a huge 2013 run-up.
    • Cowen notes SunPower's capacity is fully booked through 2014 and thinks production could grow 20% next year, and Northland expects China's aggressive 2015 solar installation targets to yield strong non-Chinese demand for firms based elsewhere. Lazard is upbeat about European margin expansion and Asia-Pac growth, and Citi observes SunPower's ties to majority owner Total are yielding international deals.
    • Credit Suisse, echoing concerns raised about First Solar, is worried "new utility-scale projects are likely to have lower margins than the current pipeline." Goldman argues a premium valuation and softening earnings growth "suggest headwinds to further upside."
    • U.S. solar peers First Solar (FSLR -2.2%) and SolarCity (SCTY -1.9%) saw modest losses.
    • earnings slides, datasheet, CC transcript
  • Jul. 31, 2013, 10:10 AM
    • First Solar (FSLR -0.2%) is building two Australian solar plants providing a combined 155MW of capacity for local utility AGL Energy. The project has a total cost of $450M, and is receiving $231.6M in government funding.
    • Construction for both projects is expected to start in 2014, with commercial operation commencing in 2015.
    • Separately, First Solar is counting on the Australian government to provide funding for a GE/Verve Energy solar project for which it's supply modules. Government support would allow the project's size to grow as much as 4x to 40MW.
    • First Solar's Q2 results arrive on Aug. 6.
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  • Jul. 15, 2013, 12:47 PM
    First Solar (FSLR +5.9%) is looking for the Chilean government to sign off on a $370M deal to build a 162MW solar park, Bloomberg reports. The report comes 6 months after FSLR bought local solar project developer Solar Chile, and 9 months after Chilean environmental regulators approved the project. Shares have been rallying following a decision by Chinese electricity regulators to back the government's target for 35GW in domestic solar installations by 2015.
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  • Jul. 12, 2013, 3:29 PM
    SunPower's (SPWR +2.1%) diverse customer base and its ability to enter markets where subsidies aren't prevalent makes it Baird's top pick among solar companies, which the firm continues to like even after shares have soared 360% YTD. On First Solar (FSLR +2%), the firm says its business model "will become increasingly difficult as rooftop market growth will surpass utility projects."
  • Jul. 1, 2013, 11:07 AM
    Volatile solar stocks rally (TAN +2.7%) on what's proving a good day for risk assets, as investors decide a weak Chinese manufacturing PMI print was already priced in. JKS +7.5%. SCTY +7.1%. SUNE +6.6%. YGE +4.6%. LDK +6.2%. First Solar (FSLR +4.4%) has announced this morning construction has begun for its 50MW Macho Springs New Mexico solar project, and ReneSola (SOL +6.1%) says it has restrated production at a polysilicon plant (halted in Nov.) following upgrades. ReneSola says the plant now has an annual production capacity of 10K MT, and that it expects to produce 1.8K-2K MT in Q3.
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  • Jun. 28, 2013, 9:40 AM
    A roundup of tech analyst ratings changes: 1) Sina (SINA -0.2%) has been upgraded to Hold by Maxim. 2) First Solar (FSLR +1%) has been upgraded to to Buy by Argus. 3) Vodafone (VOD +0.5%) has been upgraded to Buy by Deutsche. 4) American Superconductor (AMSC +10.3%) has been started at Buy by Ascendiant Capital. 5) F5 (FFIV +0.7%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Raymond James. 6) Move (MOVE +1%) has been started at Buy by B. Riley. 7) Sohu (SOHU -1.1%) has been upgraded to Neutral by HSBC. 8) Palo Alto Networks (PANW -2.2%) has been started at Perform by Oppenheimer. 9) Veeco (VECO -1.7%) has been started at Neutral by Wedbush.
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  • Jun. 25, 2013, 1:01 PM
    U.S. solar stocks rally strongly ahead of a Tuesday speech from Pres. Obama in which he's expected to outline plans to effectively double the amount of renewable energy created on public lands by 2020 (enough to power 6M homes), and to impose regulations of carbon dioxide output from U.S. power plans. First Solar (FSLR +7.6%), which received an upgrade and a bullish coverage launch yesterday, is the biggest winner, but SunEdison (SUNE +5.6%) and SunPower (SPWR +4.2%) are also doing well.
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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.