Monday, June 2, 2008

First Solar's No. 2 Shareholder Signals Swoon With Recent Sales (FSLR; LDK; SOL)

From Bloomberg:

First Solar Inc.'s second-largest shareholder sold half his shares, a signal that the world's biggest solar company may soon fizzle.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Ahearn reduced his stake to 3.07 million shares as of May 16 from 6.1 million shares at the company's initial offering in November 2006. The latest disposals brought in $257 million since Feb. 19, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

``That's a remarkable withdrawal for a CEO and I wouldn't want to see him sell off much more,'' said Robert Lutts, who manages more than $500 million as chief investment officer at Cabot Money Management, including 18,953 shares of First Solar. ``He's taken enough out to change his lifestyle.''

The sales came as the Phoenix-based company told investors in a regulatory filing that its cells made of toxic cadmium- telluride may be banned in the European Union, its biggest market. Declining subsidies risk hurting sales, while metal costs are rising and solar-panel prices are slipping....MORE

HT: Notable Calls who relayed "Chinese poly wafer producers LDK and SOL downgraded. It is noteworthy that Morgan Stanley underwrote LDK's convert offering and upgraded LDK at the same time. MS seems to come clean finally that LDK is not a buy."

From Climateer Investing April 30:

...FSLR's use of Cadmium Telluride could come back to bite it in the butt, and not because of the much memed Te shortage.
Cd is one of six hazardous materials on the EU's "Restrictions on Hazardous Substances" list.

If you ever wake up and hear that there was a fire at a FSLR plant or in shipment or at a ground array, look for a four to ten billion dollar loss in market cap. And you'll get the news too late to avoid the rush....