Tag: FSLR

Departure Of First Solar CEO Rob Gilette Another Sign Of Solar’s Troubles

Clean Energy Intel First Solar's Blythe Solar Farm under construction First Solar's (FSLR) stock price was hit hard yesterday, falling some 25%, as a result of the departure of CEO Rob Gilette. The stock has bounced today. However, the very volatile price action is simply a sign of the extreme nervousness and underlying weakness in the sector. A number or readers have questioned my stance of being uninvested in the solar sector during the recent Solyndra-related market turmoil. Since I see solar as being a significant part of the long-term clean energy solution, this does raise some contradictions. Consequently, let...

Politics Likely to Continue to Cast Shadow Over Solar

by Clean Energy Intel Solar stocks have clearly been heavily affected by the political fall out following the Solyndra affair - and unfortunately the political debacle only looks likely to get worse. The Hill now reports that the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are deeply focused on attempting to prove that the Obama Administration broke the law in restructuring the $535m loan guarantee it had granted to Solyndra. Clearly, this is largely politically motivated and as such is only likely to remain so as we move deeper into the election season. However, from an...

Solar: DoE Ends Loan Guarantee Program with Final $4.7bn in Approvals

by Clean Energy Intel This past Friday, the 30th September, was the final day for approvals under the Department of Energy's 1705 Loan Guarantee Program. This was of course set up as part of the 2009 stimulus law and extended an existing Energy Department loan guarantee program. Activity at the DoE under the program has also now of course become a highly political issue in the aftermath of the move by Solyndra into Chapter 11 - leaving the program exposed on its $535m loan guarantee, extended to the company in September of 2009. In...

US Still Net Exporter of Solar to China

by Clean Energy Intel Following the announcement that CIGS solar start-up Solyndra had declared Chapter 11, I published an article suggesting that although this was clearly not good news, the overall solar sector in the US was still in relatively good competitive shape, with a healthy trade surplus with the rest of the world of some $1.9bn. You can read my original article here. Although competition from China is intense, particularly in low-cost module production, the US remains a strong player across the supply chain as a whole - particularly in polysilicon production and the manufacture of the...

Wall Street’s Irrational, Dangerous Hatred of Solar Stocks

Garvin Jabusch For most of 2011, the stocks of solar power companies of all kinds, from providers of raw polysilicon to developers of finished utility scale plants, have been taking a beating on world and U.S. stock markets, partly because solar has been the industry most singled out for attack by bearish short sellers. I can’t describe this phenomenon any better than did Roberto Pedone in a recent column for thestreet.com: Besides the banking sector post-2008 financial crisis, I can't think of a group that's as hated and despised as solar stocks…For whatever reason, this entire complex...

The Solar Bears are Wrong

Dana Blankenhorn There are a growing number of “solar bears” out there like Jim Chanos, a professional short-seller who is convinced China is poised for a 2008-style crash and who is also selling short stocks like First Solar (FSLR) and Vestas Wind (VWDRY.PK). (What does Chanos like? Would you believe Citibank?) (Picture from Wikipedia.) Personally, I don't know whether Chanos is right about those stocks or not. First Solar is a popular short because it's the best-performing U.S. solar play. Fly high and the assumption is you'll fall fast. But two big mistakes are being made here: ...

Growing Fears of PV Module Oversupply in 2011

Andrew Williams London, UK   On the back of last year's record demand, there are growing concerns that photovoltaic (PV) module supply is set to outstrip demand throughout 2011, leading to significant oversupply in the industry. But are these concerns founded? And if they are, what impact might the oversupply have on the global PV industry? 2011 Forecast According to analysts at UK-based IMS Research, Photovoltaic (PV) module production capacity increased by nearly 70% over the course of 2010, reaching nearly 30 GW by the end of the year.  Looking ahead, IMS anticipates that 35 GW...

Down and Out in 2011: Headlines from Possible Futures

Tom Konrad, CFA If you don't know what could go wrong in 2010, it could still hurt your portfolio. In Nassim Taleb's Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, he describes an exercise at one of his early jobs.  In order to become aware of risks they otherwise might have overlooked, they were to assume that they would lose all the money under their management in the coming year, and they work backwards to figure out how that might have happened. This struck me as an excellent idea, which investors...

Market Call: We’re Near the Peak

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. The current rally from the March 5 bottom has been breathtaking, especially in Clean Energy, with my Clean Energy Tracking Portfolio up 70.5% since it was assembled at the end of February (as of May 1), 11% higher than it was at the three month update last week, and the S&P 500 is up 41% from its March low.  Even in a better economic climate, gains of this magnitude would have me running for cover.  In the current economic climate, with a gigantic mountain of debt keeping consumers out of the stores, makes me feel this...

From Solar 2009: Investment Opportunities in Solar Stocks: First Solar (FSLR)

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. This continues a series of entries on opportunities in solar stocks, based on a panel at Solar 2009.  The first article introduced the panelists, and took a look at the solar sector as a whole.  The others focus on individual companies. Pradeep Haldar Investors remain bullish on thin film technologies such as CdTe (First Solar's technology.) CdTe currently has the lowest cost, but it may not have long term sustainability. Peter Lynch on First Solar (FSLR) If First Solar ever stumbles, gravity will take over. They could fall 50% in a day. They...