First Solar (FSLR) is a leading American manufacturer and provider of eco-efficient photovoltaic (PV) solutions. With vast experience across the solar value chain, the company has designed, engineered and constructed the world’s biggest grid-connected PV power plants. The company’s solutions can generate energy at a competitive price with the smallest environmental impact. The company’s mission is to make clean solar electricity more affordable.
First Solar says it leads all PV manufacturers in R&D investment, maintaining a rate of innovation that enables efficiency gains three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. With over 17GW of modules sold to date, First Solar prides itself on its history of financial stability and manufacturing success. As of 5 April 2018, the company had a market capitalisation of around $7.43 billion.
Mark Widmar has been Chief Executive Officer of First Solar since July 2016, having previously served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Other key figures at First Solar include Alexander R. Bradley (Chief Financial Officer since July 2016) and Georges Antoun (Chief Commercial Officer since July 2016).
The company traces its roots back to 1990, when inventor Harold McMaster founded Solar Cells, Inc. In 1999 the business was acquired by True North Partners, LLC, who rebranded it as First Solar, Inc. The company went public in 2006. In 2009, First Solar became the first solar panel manufacturing company to reduce its manufacturing cost to $1 per watt. In 2012, the company announced it was restructuring global operations. Almost a third of First Solar’s workforce was laid off, in a move the firm blamed on market volatility and lower demand.
In its full year 2017 financial results, First Solar reported a record 7.7GW of new business in the year. Non-GAAP earnings per share were $2.59 and operating cash flows exceeded $1.3 billion.The company raised its 2018 revenue, EPS and net cash guidance for the year, and CEO Mark Widmar said: “We enter 2018 with an unwavering focus on profitably, scaling our modules business, executing on our systems project portfolio, and delivering on our financial commitments.”
The First Solar share price, which peaked at $311 in May 2008, crashed to just $92 in November of that year. The shares staged a modest recovery and managed to stay above $100 for a few years, but then headed south again until they reached a new low of $12 in June 2012. Thereafter they moved up and down in a band between around $25 and $75, starting 2018 at just over $70. To find out how the shares are doing right now, follow Capital.com. Our FSLR chartputs all the information at your fingertips.
First Solar is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona and has offices in Houston, New Jersey, San Francisco, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Mumbai among other locations. Its manufacturing facilities are located in Perrysburg, Ohio; Kulim, Malaysia; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The company partnered with natural gas provider Enbridge to build the world’s biggest PV solar energy farm in Sarnia, Ontario.
First Solar is traded on the NASDAQ and included in the S&P 500 index. Check out Capital.com for the latest FSLR chart. We’ll keep you up to date and in the picture.
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