First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) announced it has established yet another world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell conversion efficiency, achieving 22.1 percent efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab. The achievement confirms that First Solar is on pace with its established research cell roadmap, and validates CdTe’s growing competitive advantage over multi-crystalline silicon technology and other commercial thin film PV.
The record-setting research cell was constructed at the company’s Perrysburg, Ohio manufacturing factory and Research & Development Center using processes and materials suitable for commercial-scale manufacturing. In addition to the Newport TAC Lab certification, the record has been documented in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) “Best Research Cell Efficiencies” reference chart.
This is the ninth substantial update to CdTe record efficiency since 2011, firmly establishing a sustained trend of rapid performance improvements that significantly outstrips all other commercial technologies.
“We are tracking very closely to a technology roadmap we first presented in 2013 and revised upward in March 2014,” said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar’s Chief Technology Officer. “At that time, we said we’d hit a 22 percent research cell efficiency milestone by the end of 2015. We’ve delivered on that promise. The accomplishment validates our continued confidence in CdTe as a superior PV material that combines cost effectiveness, reliability and high performance. In recent years and based on our research cell progress, we’ve improved the efficiency and energy density of our mass produced commercial PV modules at a rate at least three times faster than our multi-crystalline Si competitors. We fully expect to further separate ourselves from the pack in coming years.”
Garabedian noted that First Solar’s lead manufacturing lines were producing PV modules with 16.4 percent conversion efficiency in 4Q 2015, and that the research cell efficiency accomplishment serves as a powerful driver for integrating performance improvement into the real-world manufacturing environment. (Original Source)
Shares of First Solar closed yesterday at $64.23. FSLR has a 1-year high of $72.12 and a 1-year low of $40.25. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $64.94 and its 200-day moving average is $55.83.
On the ratings front, FSLR has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 26, Roth Capital analyst Philip Shen initiated coverage with a Buy rating on FSLR and a price target of $80, which implies an upside of 24.6% from current levels. Separately, on January 25, Robert W. Baird’s Ben Kallo maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $69.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Philip Shen and Ben Kallo have a total average return of -16.9% and 4.1% respectively. Shen has a success rate of 24.8% and is ranked #3600 out of 3638 analysts, while Kallo has a success rate of 47.0% and is ranked #623.
Overall, one research analyst has assigned a Hold rating and 10 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $81.67 which is 27.2% above where the stock closed yesterday.
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.