Company Update (NASDAQ:FSLR): First Solar, Inc., Silicon Ranch Build on Strategic Partnership

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) and a subsidiary of Silicon Ranch Corporation have entered into a framework agreement for 231.6 Megawatts (MW) DC of First Solar’s advanced technology thin film modules for use in Silicon Ranch projects to be constructed in 2017 and early 2018.

This agreement builds on previous agreements for more than 180MW DC of modules used in Silicon Ranch projects entering commercial operations in 2015 and 2016, located in Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. The southeastern U.S. region is rapidly emerging as a growing market for photovoltaic (PV) solar development, where Silicon Ranch has played a leading role as a developer, owner and operator.

First Solar’s thin film technology has demonstrated clear advantages over conventional multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) solar products in all regions of the world, most significantly in the hot, humid climates that make up a large part of Silicon Ranch’s project footprint. When taking into account conversion efficiency, temperature coefficient, spectral response and shadow tolerance, First Solar technology provides an energy density of more than 10 percent over mc-Si products in this region. That means that, given the same land area with an equivalent module ground cover ratio, First Solar’s modules will produce more annual energy from the same land area than mc-Si.

“First Solar is pleased to strengthen our relationship with Silicon Ranch through this deal,” said Roger Bredder, First Solar’s Vice President of U.S. Business Development. “There is deep value in aligning with a trusted, major solar developer, and our previous endeavors with Silicon Ranch have allowed us to jointly benefit from working in a region with exciting growth opportunities.”

“As long-term owners of all our projects, Silicon Ranch recognizes the importance of quality and performance in every choice we make,” said Pete Candelaria, Silicon Ranch’s Chief Technology Officer. “First Solar is a U.S. manufacturer with superior products and a strong balance sheet, all of which were important factors in our selection. Furthermore, their technical and logistics units are the best in the business, which made them a great fit for the Silicon Ranch team.”

Similar to a portion of the 2015/2016 Silicon Ranch projects, some of the 2017 projects may also employ First Solar’s balance of system solutions, including the company’s single-axis tracker. Silicon Ranch plans to begin to take delivery of the first modules under this agreement in the first quarter of 2017 and will continue to supply its projects until the first quarter of 2018. (Original Source)

Shares of First Solar are down nearly 3% to $65.00 in pre-market trading. FSLR has a 1-year high of $74.29 and a 1-year low of $40.25. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $68.61 and its 200-day moving average is $60.30.

On the ratings front, First Solar has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 1, Deutsche Bank analyst Vishal Shah maintained a Buy rating on FSLR, with a price target of $86, which implies an upside of 27.9% from current levels. Separately, on March 30, Mizuho’s Jim Von Riesemann initiated coverage with a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $71.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Vishal Shah and Jim Von Riesemann have a total average return of -23.6% and 3.9% respectively. Shah has a success rate of 24.8% and is ranked #3768 out of 3777 analysts, while Riesemann has a success rate of 71.4% and is ranked #1733.

The street is mostly Neutral on FSLR stock. Out of 11 analysts who cover the stock, 6 suggest a Hold rating and 5 recommend to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $74.00, which implies an upside of 10.1% from current levels.

First Solar, Inc. operates as a solar energy solutions company. It engages in the designing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of photovoltaic solar power systems and solar modules with an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology. The company operates in two business segments: Components and Systems. The Components segment designs, manufactures and sells solar modules primarily to solar project developers and system integrators.

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