First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) shares have gained 23.88% since March 3. Investors turned bullish on the stock after the company offered its full-year financial guidance at an analyst event on March 19. First Solar forecasts its 2014 revenues to come in the range of $3.7 billion to $4 billion. The company expects consolidated income of $270 million to $320 million, the highest profit in almost three years.
First Solar has to deliver on its promises
Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov told PV Magazine that now the hard part is to deliver on what First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) has promised. The Tempe, Arizona-based company has gone through a phase during which its business plan and brand seemed to be weakening in the competitive solar market. But the largest U.S. thin film module company is determined to increase its module efficiency, shift focus to smaller projects, explore overseas opportunities, boost its manufacturing capacity, and expand its product line with polysilicon panels.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) said it will ramp up its residential installation business to offset the shrinking utility-scale project pipeline. Utility-scale projects accounted for 65% of the company’s total revenue last year. But large-scale project market is fading as utilities now have enough solar farms to meet regulatory requirements. First Solar CEO Jim Hughes said that the company can increase its sales by as much as 36% over the next three years by tapping into the consumer market.
First Solar close to signing deals with Australian miners
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) is betting on TetraSun to make a mark in the residential solar market. The company acquired TetraSun, a crystalline PV manufacturer, last April. TetraSun’s panels are suitable for small rooftop systems. Moreover, the company plans to enter the emerging utility markets such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, India, Africa and South America. First Solar management said that it is competing for a combined 45MW of industrial and commercial thin-film opportunities in international markets. The company also said yesterday that it will soon announce deals with Australian mining companies. It will supply them its solar technology to help Australian miners reduce their operating costs.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) told analysts that its research team has attained a whopping 17% panel efficiency for its cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film panels. The company aims to move this technology into factories over the next three years. Currently, its panels have a conversion efficiency of 13.4%. The company aims to improve it to 15.8% by 2015, 18.4% by 2016, and a peak of 19.6% by 2017. That efficiency level and First Solar’s recent partnership with General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) will help it bring down the total system costs from $1.59 per watt in 2013 to $0.99 by 2017.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) stock was up 0.52% to $70.16 at 1:03 PM EDT.