Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First Solar Tumbles After Earnings

As I posted yesterday, I was watching First Solar's earnings closely when they reported after the bell.

Earnings for the quarter ended were strong, but FSLR's future outlook was even bleaker than I had imagined. Unfortunately I was not short the stock, but anyone that was short or held puts fared very well - shares fell $30, nearly 22%.

FSLR's executives had many troubling things to say - the economy is tough, the solar business is tough, and they expect it to get tougher in the near-term. According to the company, up to 15% of 2009 shipments could be at risk of "customer default." To make up for waning corporate credit, FSLR is even financing or taking stakes in projects (rather than simply selling panels) which complicates their business model and casts even greater doubt on their future prospects.

So being right really didn't positively effect me, but I enjoy seeing rationality return to one of the only market segments where euphoric expectations still reigned king.

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