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Guest Klothilde

First Solar (FSLR)

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Guest eysteinh

I should add REC has high interest costs so this is another factor to consider. Odyd makes a good presentation of these facts in his quarterly results report. I belive first solar is in a very good interest rate shape, while trina is a bit worse and rec kinda bad because they made many loans in the boom period of the economy.

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Guest ILOVEPV

exactly, Michael. Absolutely right. All these analysts were very sharp in predicting oversupply glut but they did it after solars dropped 50%. After their prediction solars dropped 70% more presenting now extraordinary opportunities. Nowdays analysts are very cautious or staying aside keeping quiet because solars are extremely cheap. Buy recommendation they can do only on an intermediate top to squeeze some juice from retail investors. A huge load up is going on along with dragging the prices down. A first wave of solar stock enthusiasm with 100-300% fast rally is killed by non-stop shorting for the last 7 days in a row. According to TA a retracement of 50% of a previously made gain is approaching. For SOL it is around $2, For TSL and CSIQ is around 3.60-3.70, for JKS is still a lot of way down to $6. As for american stocks I do not think they bring them too low. My view for an absolute bottom is FLSR 22, SPWR 10, WFR 4.2. Most likely the stock won't reach these digits, so picking them now or a little bit lower is also right if you are an investor or swing (not day) trader.

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Guest Bodhi

PV, what are your thoughts on the broader market in general? Is it alarming to anyone except me that the DOW seems to be ceiling bumping at 14k? One thing i know for sure, if the DOW dives to test 13 or 12k again, solars will sink with it. Might consider that as well. My 2c. KW

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Guest larryvand

ILOVEPV, these are their highs and lows for 2013 TSL down 5.91 to 4 = DOWN 32.3% LDK down 2.32 to 1.57 = DOWN 32.3% YGE down 3.63 to 2.48 = DOWN 32% JASO down 6.14 to 4.22 = DOWN 31.3% FSLR down 36.98 to 25.50 = DOWN 31% CSIQ down 5.15 to 3.76 = DOWN 27% SOL down 2.8 to 2.1 = DOWN 25% SOL is the least down of the 7 listed above.

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Guest Klothilde

Klothilde I agree with you in many things so dont take this the wrong way.

Don't worry, I'm not here to push or bash but simply to exchange thoughts on facts. I believe that FS is a good technology play but I also want to be challenged on this because I don't want to lose money. I'm looking to open a c-Si position and am currently looking for the highest long-term value.

What I heard is that Canadian solar did not include warrenty and shipping costs in the cost estimate they made, (source of this is a photon international article where one of the stock analysists says the number from canadian solar does not include warrenty and freight.) I have not had this confirmed by other sources or if for example Trina solar dont include this. I know REC includes it in the costs they make and they had also lower cost than first solar in q4. (REC with yesterdays euro to dollar conversion had 0.65$/watt cost vs first solar including all costs 0.68, granted the real costs of first solar is lower as they point out in the presentation.)

TSL AR 2011 Page 49: "Selling expenses consist primarily of provisions for product warranties, outbound freight, employee salaries, pensions, share-based compensation expenses and benefits, travel and other sales and marketing expenses." YGE AR 2011 Page 76: "Our operating expenses consist of: • Selling expenses, which consist primarily of advertising costs, salaries and employee benefits of sales personnel, salesrelated travel and entertainment expenses, sales related shipping costs, warranty costs, amortization of intangible assets (including backlog and customer relationships), share-based compensation expenses and other selling expenses including sales commissions paid to our sales agents. I like REC's cost position. From the Q3 numbers I get COGS of 52 €-Cts *1.31 = 68 uscents. No point in arguing about a few cents, this is extremely competitive.

Things gets more interesting if you add the opex costs. Rec is at 0.08$/watt opex while fslr is around 0.19$/watt. (sg&a r&d) Trina solar including one off (rec includes one off in its opex so i assume this for both) is 0.17$/watt. They have lower processing cost than rec at 0.51 vs 0.56 for rec. Also trina has underutilization like fslr while REC is at allmost 100% capacity. Meaning that the real cost of both trina and first solar is lower if they produced at 100% (spreading deprecation costs over more volume.) Trina commented deprecation was at 9 cents and could down to 6 cents with 90%+ utilitization. (Currently at 70%.)

FSLR gets most the revenue from systems at a much higher ASP per watt, so an OPEX comparison on watt basis becomes less of apples to apples. OPEX over Revenue is less of a difference. However I look at the high OPEX not as a burden but as an investment in proprietary technology. They plan on increasing efficiency by a full percentag point during 2013, which by itself will provide them with 10 cents of value at system level. 2013 will be a crucial year for FS, they will have to prove the value of the technology. BTW but this off-topic: I'm puzzled by the 9 cents depreciation comment of Trina, doesn't make sense to me at all. I had them at 27.5 million depreciation per quarter and relative to 415 MW that is 6.6 cents.

When it comes to the yield advantage of FSLR vs c-si modules I am more sceptical. This is research done by FSLR, but there are other modules out there that perform exellent in tropical climates and hot climates. Again you just have to look at the temperature coefficent number and nominal operation temperature.

Juwi did a comparison between CdTe and FS a few years back, and they came up with an average of 5,3% yield advantage for CdTe in their European project portfolio. I expect the advantage to be larger in sunbelt countries. FS speaks of 5-9 % yield advantage. The deciding factor will be how much of this yield advantage FS can monetize for the customer through higher performance guarantees. My guess is that they assume a conservative position on this, maybe 5%.

Regarding your previous comment about sun at early and late night...

I think this comes from littleguy. I'm keener on the yield advantage under hot climates.

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Guest spiritcraft

To add to that... YTD. TSL and HSOL are the only names down for the year of the solar names I usually watch. (no LDK, CSUN, STP included) I know YTD is a moment in time with no real meaning but...

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Guest solarman1

Odyd, will you have a new poll on which Chi Solar 11 will be winners in 2013 now we have info from FSLR and TSL? :)

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Guest ILOVEPV

Larry I'm talking about 50% retracement in terms of losing 50% gain. SOL's bottom was 1.08 while top 2.80 i.e. 2.80-1.08=1.72; 1.72/2=0.86; 2.80-0.86=1.94 is the very (theoretical - TA classical) bottom for SOL retracement. JMHO: traders know this stuff and ready to pick up in there, that is why no stocks won't be allowed to reach this threshold i.e.. the stocks will start ramping up from higher level (for example from a current one). Being experienced in these games I bought back today a nice portion of SOL in 2.11-2.14 and SPWR in 10.8-10.85 ranges.

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Guest larryvand

If you are going to have a new poll every quarter, better wait for all the participants included in the poll to report their quarter before doing a new poll. JMHO.

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Guest larryvand

ILOVEPV, my post was in response to your first post where you said "What really makes me surprised is so adverse reaction for SOL shares. The stock lost almost 25%" So I'm pointing out that SOL is the least down amongst the 7 solars I included. FWIW. In general though, all the solars move together. It's like if one sneezes, they all catch a cold.

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Guest eysteinh

BTW but this off-topic: I'm puzzled by the 9 cents depreciation comment of Trina, doesn't make sense to me at all. I had them at 27.5 million depreciation per quarter and relative to 415 MW that is 6.6 cents.

Interesting since the 9 cents is what they reported during conference call.

I like REC's cost position. From the Q3 numbers I get COGS of 52 €-Cts *1.31 = 68 uscents. No point in arguing about a few cents, this is extremely competitive.

Yeah its just rounding difference and what usd / eur exchange rate you use. I agree it is around that place.

TSL AR 2011 Page 49: "Selling expenses consist primarily of provisions for product warranties, outbound freight, employee salaries, pensions, share-based compensation expenses and benefits, travel and other sales and marketing expenses." YGE AR 2011 Page 76: "Our operating expenses consist of: • Selling expenses, which consist primarily of advertising costs, salaries and employee benefits of sales personnel, salesrelated travel and entertainment expenses, sales related shipping costs, warranty costs, amortization of intangible assets (including backlog and customer relationships), share-based compensation expenses and other selling expenses including sales commissions paid to our sales agents.

Exellent so there we have it straight from the reports, freight and warrenty is put into opex. Thanks again klothilde. No more rumors then it is true :) This explains perhaps why REC have a lower opex because it puts the cost into cogs, while also explaning the higher number for chinese c-si manufatures on opex.

FSLR gets most the revenue from systems at a much higher ASP per watt, so an OPEX comparison on watt basis becomes less of apples to apples. OPEX over Revenue is less of a difference. However I look at the high OPEX not as a burden but as an investment in proprietary technology. They plan on increasing efficiency by a full percentag point during 2013, which by itself will provide them with 10 cents of value at system level. 2013 will be a crucial year for FS, they will have to prove the value of the technology.

Yes all opex is not the same. I also like the opex people spend on r&d if it makes results. I notice a few companies put a lot more into r&d than others. (REC has and still put a lot of money into R&D)

Juwi did a comparison between CdTe and FS a few years back, and they came up with an average of 5,3% yield advantage for CdTe in their European project portfolio. I expect the advantage to be larger in sunbelt countries. FS speaks of 5-9 % yield advantage. The deciding factor will be how much of this yield advantage FS can monetize for the customer through higher performance guarantees. My guess is that they assume a conservative position on this, maybe 5%.

On average across all module producers I think this is still the trend. All I mean to say is there are modules out there that outperform FSLR also in hot countries.

I think this comes from littleguy. I'm keener on the yield advantage under hot climates.

My appologies then. Hopefuly answering his question then :)

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Guest spiritcraft

We are not even close to being a mature sector. Most still think PV is a fad or a future investment not to be considered as yet. It has to be the most "played" sector by far. Case in point: FSLR could have come out last night and said point blank that "TSL is taking all of our business" and they would both be down today. There is not stable money, real investment in the sector... meaning a lot of big institutional money that provides a backstop. Not that the sector has earned it as yet but that day will come for the survivors and thrivers. As of now, especially in TSL, (and others as well) the shorts and the "players" have complete control rather than strong investors. The sector acts like OTC stocks...

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Guest Klothilde

On average across all module producers I think this is still the trend. All I mean to say is there are modules out there that outperform FSLR also in hot countries.

Can you point out which ones? I'd be interested to have a look at them. I know you did an NOCT / STC comparison but forgot where you put the data...

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Guest ILOVEPV

That is why a certain diversification is the must for solars (it helps you to avoid an unexpected blip with particular company) though on the other hand the best stock will perform better than others. That is why I made a compromise holding 5 solar stocks with different size of investment (proportionally to my understanding of their rank). for the time being I see SOL as the best one hoping it will be trading higher than YGE and may be TSL in a due time. It goes without saying all my current buys and sells are just a trading portion of solar portfolio. A core position is intact no matter what the Wall Street crooks do on a daily basis. I will gradually start reduce a core position after 300-400% gain from my buy price that translates in a case of SOL to $6-7.5 Though it is a commodity market I see no reason why this price is not reachable even within this 2013 year.

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Guest ILOVEPV

Waiting for maturity means losing an opportunity. That is why this sector is so quiet, almost no exposure to TV, no analyst's appearance - everything is going on under a counter. The less attention of general public the better for those who are collecting shares. Well-known strategy. Just remember AAPL in those early 2000s - who was interested in this company with zero exposure?

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Guest eysteinh

Data is from q3 2012: 22% noct efficency loss: (what is noct? http://pvcdrom.pveducation.org/MODULE/NOCT.htm) SCHOTT PROTECT ASI 107 SCHOTT PROTECT ASI 100 SCHOTT PROTECT ASI 105 SCHOTT PROTECT ASI 103 23.2% effiency loss SILIKEN SLK48P6L2180WBLACK 23.3% REC240PEPLUS 23.4% REC235PEPLUS 23.7% REC245PEBLK REC245PEECO REC245PEPLUS 23.8% REC240PEBLK REC240PEECO REC235PEBLK REC235PEECO 24.0% REC250PEPLUS 24.2% REC260PEBLK 24.3% REC255PEBLK 24.3% REC255PEECO REC255PEPLUS 24.4% REC250PEBLK REC250PEECO 24.9% FIRST SOLAR FS-275 FS-385 25.0% FS-272 FS-382 FS-270 FS-280 FS-380 FS-390 FS-387 FS-277 25.6% RENESOLA JC250M-24/Bbv 25.7% JC300M-24/Abv 25.7% SUNPOWER SPR-327NE-WHT-D SPR-245NE-WHT-D 25.8% RENESOLA JC260M-24/Bbv JC260M-24/Bb JC310M-24/Abv JC310M-24/Ab

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