Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Poster Child for Subsidies ($10 billion) First Solar, Inc.Being Looked At For Ties, Donations to Biden Administration

Of course FSLR has ties to the Biden Administration, you don't think they snuggle up to Hitler and the gang? 
(actually the Nazis were very eco-conscious, at least up to that WWII thing.)

As noted in the June 13 post on the stock being very extended at $301:

....Our interest in FSLR was rekindled when the extent of their Bidenbucks windfall started to become apparent:

....Here's your fearless forecaster in August:

 "First Solar, The Poster Child For Solar Subsidies Has Had An Awful Month (FSLR)": 

As the Wall Street Journal noted on July 31:

The U.S. Clean-Energy Company That Hit the Subsidies Jackpot

Of all the beneficiaries of the U.S.’s green-energy push, few have hit the jackpot like First Solar. The Arizona-based solar-panel manufacturer expects to receive as much as $710 million this year—nearly 90% of forecast operating profit—from subsidies the U.S. government rolled out a year ago to encourage domestic renewables production. One analyst estimates the incentives could be worth more than $10 billion for the company over the next decade. . .

That followed June 11's "First Solar As Meme Stock (FSLR)". 

Related June 20: "ICYMI: First Solar Caught A Downgrade At Janney Montgomery Scott (FSLR)"

And today's story from the Associated Press:

A signature Biden law aimed to boost renewable energy. It also helped a solar company reap billions

As he campaigned for the presidency, Joe Biden promised to spend billions of dollars to “save the world” from climate change. One of the largest players in the solar industry was ready.

Executives, officials and major investors in First Solar, the largest domestic maker of solar panels, donated at least $2 million to Democrats in 2020, including $1.5 million to Biden’s successful bid for the White House. After he won, the company spent $2.8 million more lobbying his administration and Congress, records show — an effort that included high-level meetings with top administration officials.

The strategy was a dramatic departure from the Arizona-based company’s posture under then-President Donald Trump, whom corporate officials publicly called out as hostile toward renewable energy. It has also paid massive dividends as First Solar became perhaps the biggest beneficiary of an estimated $1 trillion in environmental spending enacted under the Inflation Reduction Act, a major piece of legislation Biden signed into law in 2022 after it cleared Congress solely with Democratic votes.

Since then, First Solar’s stock price has doubled and its profits have soared thanks to new federal subsidies that could be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade. The success has also delivered a massive windfall to a small group of Democratic donors who invested heavily in the company.

Big returns
Ahead of what is shaping up to be a tight race for the White House this year, Biden and his fellow Democrats point to the sprawling legislation as an example of investing in alternative energy in ways that will help the environment and lift the economy. But First Solar offers an example of how the same piece of legislation, shaped by a team of lobbyists and potentially influenced by a flood of campaign cash, can yield mammoth returns for the well-connected.

First Solar’s top lobbyist, Samantha Sloan, offered a revealing glimpse of the company’s reach after a bill signing celebration.

“Those of us who’ve worked on this know that none of this would have been possible without the dedication and collaboration of a group of Congressional staffers who worked long hours” to ensure that the law would “deliver as intended,” she posted on LinkedIn alongside a photo of herself beaming on the White House South Lawn.

Angelo Fernández Hernández, a White House spokesperson, did not directly address First Solar’s efforts to curry favor with the Biden administration.

“President Biden has led and delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, restoring America’s climate leadership at home and abroad,” Fernández Hernández said in a statement. “The White House regularly engages with industry leaders across all sectors, including clean energy manufacturers and gas and oil producers.”

In a statement, First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said the new subsidies have helped build the company’s domestic footprint. He also took a swipe at some of First Solar’s rivals with ties to China, which dominates the industry.....


The stock is down another $11.43 (-4.45%) at $245.31 with that $301 figure fading in the rear view mirror.

And peaking of Scandal, since in the current political environment nothing will come of this, our long suffering readers should have something for their time, some sort of gift:

It was the '80's.