A bunch of “hot” tech stocks, especially in biotech, are getting clobbered today.
But Tempe, Ariz.-based solar device developer First Solar is up nearly 4%, and it’s actually poised to end the week up at least 30%.
The catalyst was its latest analyst meeting, at which the company said it sees FY 2013 EPS beating its own guidance. It also said FY14 revenues would come in at $US3.7B-$4.0B versus analysts’ consensus forecast of $US3.77B.
In addition, the company announced a new, ramped-up efficiency schedule for its solar modules. They are now targeting 16.2% in Q4 2015 and 17.2% by Q4 2017. In other words, their panels would convert 17% of the sunlight directed at them into electricity. The worldwide average is currently around 15%.
“This would place First Solar ahead of standard silicon-based technology by the end of 2015 by GTM’s estimate,” Shyam Mehta, lead upstream analyst for solar at GTM Research, told BI in an email. “This matters because gains in module efficiency decrease both module manufacturing costs and BOS costs, which also explains why First Solar is now aiming for lower targets in these areas as well (99c/W system cost by 2017 and ~37c/W manufacturing cost).”
This won’t have much impact on the broader market, Mehta said, but it shows First Solar can still hang with other module makers, at least for now.