First Solar Plans to Secure 5.5GW of Sales this Year

7th May 2013

First Solar, the largest US solar manufacturer, has announced that it intends to secure as much as 5.5GW of sales in 2013, to make up for the lack of sales it was able to make over the past few months.

CEO Jim Hughes, who joined the company last year, reported that as of the end of the first quarter the $8 billion expected revenue hadn’t changed since December.

Hughes explained that the idea of securing the sales is to replenish the company’s “pipeline in 2014 and beyond.” Under his guidance First Solar has become profitable by focussing on building and selling large-scale projects whilst its competitors continue to bleed money by selling individual solar panels.

Hughes is also steering the company towards developing markets such as Japan, which, according to Bloomberg, is set to become the world’s second largest market this year, due to heavy investments in solar power and other forms of renewable energy, intended to replace its abandoned nuclear sector.

Sanjay Shrestha, an analyst from Lazard Capital markets LLC, has said that although recent performance hasn’t been the best, the company’s long term prospects are very strong; he gives a buy rating to First Solar shares with a $60 price target. “We weren’t so focused on the quarter, as numbers will be lumpy due to the nature of project development,” he explained. “The big story here really is, that they continue to execute.”

By. Daniel Boardman