Why First Solar's Shares Jumped

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Travis Hoium
Travis Hoium
Sep 27, 2012 at 12:00AM
Other

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of thin-film-solar manufacturer First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) jumped 14% in late trading after Bloomberg reported that the company may supply the world's largest solar farm.

So what: NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) is looking to build a 1 GW solar farm in Southern California, and Bloomberg is speculating that First Solar may win all of the contract, or at least a large portion. First Solar is one of only a few solar manufacturers with the capacity to supply a project that size, and would be a natural fit with its history in large solar projects.

Now what: This is just speculation at this point; NextEra said it hasn't chosen suppliers at this point. With a project that size the company will no doubt be looking for a manufacturer with a history of performance and a strong balance sheet, leaving First Solar as one of only a few options. I don't think this changes the investment thesis for First Solar, or makes it a must buy today; it just provides further proof that this is one of the strongest companies in solar.

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