When the CEO of a high-flying company sells half his stock, that can’t be a good sign–can it?
As of May 16, the CEO of First Solar (FSLR), Michael Ahearn, has cut his stake in the leading solar company from 6.1 million shares to 3.07 million, bringing him $257 million. The sale came amid the risk of declining subsidies, increasing metal costs and solar-panel price decreases. Add those issues to the risk of the EU banning FSLR’s cells made of toxic cadmium-telluride and that’s quite the doozy of news. Bloomberg:
“That’s a remarkable withdrawal for a CEO and I wouldn’t want to see him sell off much more,” said Robert Lutts, who manages more than $500 million as chief investment officer at Cabot Money Management, including 18,953 shares of First Solar. “He’s taken enough out to change his lifestyle.”
But many analysts are so in love with the FLSR story that they’re willing to overlook even the CEO running for the hills:
“First Solar is the leader in this industry and I’m not going to miss this growth story like I did with Microsoft,” Lutts said. “Despite some short-term negatives, First Solar has a huge advantage over other producers and I view them as a long- term buy.”
Note to Robert: Bill Gates never sold half of his Microsoft. Neither did Steve Ballmer.
Is First Solar’s bubble going to pop? Either way, CEO Ahearn’s set.