First Solar, a pricey stock in the pricey world of solar-energy stocks, had a bright session in the stock market on Friday after it announced a new factory and got a pat on the back from a stock analyst.
Phoenix-based First Solar (nasdaq: FSLR - news - people ) rose 7.0%, or $7.71, to $117.76, after it said it was adding a third factory to a complex it is building in Malaysia. The new unit will have a production capacity of 120 megawatts of solar modules per year and will cost about $150 million. It is expected to become operational in 2009.
The rise in First Solar's shares brought the stock within $6 of its record high of $123.21, set July 31.
First Solar currently operates factories in the United States and Germany with an annual production capacity of 210 megawatts. It hopes to raise that to 570 megawatts when the Malaysian project is complete.
The announement comes after First Solar announced in July a slew of new long-term deals in Europe. The European Union is aiming to have 21% of its energy produced by renewable resources by 2010. (See "Making Hay While The Sun Shines").
"Our customers have demonstrated that they are among the best-positioned in the industry to develop meaningful project pipelines for large ground and roof-mounted projects across the European Union," stated Mike Ahearn, chief executive officer of First Solar....MORE
See also: "Climateer Predicts"