First Solar, Inc. Most Impacted If India Levies Solar Duties

First Solar earnings

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) may be the most impacted if India comes out with any type of duties on solar imports, considering it is the country’s biggest module supplier. First Solar accounting for 22% of the Indian solar market as of August 2013, according to a report from Goldman Sachs, published on May 14th, and authored by analysts Brian Lee, Thomas Daniels and Britt Boril. According to the GS analysts, India is a large potential market for solar PV, with an expected demand of 1.7GW by year-end 2014.

India a potential market for First Solar

Indian Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MOCI) have recently announced that solar imports from over 20 makers in the U.S., China, Taiwan and Malaysia have been dumped into the Indian market, which has adversely affected the local players, according to Bloomberg. MOCI will announce a decision on May 22 regarding whether or not they plan to levy duties on the solar imports.

Several hundred MWs of modules have been shipped by First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) to India over the last several years. The company’s product has been popular in the region owing to local content provisions, which have helped the company’s thin-film technology to gain an edge over imported crystalline silicon modules, according to the analysts.

Limited success in project development

Following a strategy of vertically integrating utility-scale solar project development as it did in other regions (e.g., U.S., Europe), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) has expanded its role in India by taking up project development as well. However, despite the efforts, the company has achieved little success, which can be gathered from the fact that it did not win any contracts in India’s recent 750MW National Solar Mission tender in February.

However, at its Analyst Day in March, First Solar has listed potential projects in India totaling over 500MW along with its existing module, and the GS analysts believe these “targets…would appear to be facing higher policy risk given today’s developments.”

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) has been making efforts to gain more revenues from overseas markets. At the end of 2013, the solar company reported potential bookings of 10.66GW of which 5.9GW of projects were outside the United States.

Goldman Sachs analysts have a Sell rating on First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) with a price target of $49.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com

1 Comment on "First Solar, Inc. Most Impacted If India Levies Solar Duties"

  1. GS’s boy SCTY isn’t doing so well since they upgraded it and downgraded FSLR. SCTY has fallen about 40% since then.

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