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HotOtc Featured Company: First Solar Inc. (FSLR) – A Commercial Thin Film Solar Power Module Manufacturing Company Not to be Ignored

First to market is where any company wants to be when a new market is working to find its feet. In the first-to-market game, the one who has the most toys first wins. More toys mean more capital to solidify a company’s position, and capturing as much market share as possible as fast as possible leads to capital. In the solar power world, the time of Edison has passed and the time of General Electric is beginning.

First Solar Inc., a thin film solar power module manufacturer, provides full service photovoltaic products and services to grid connected commercial companies desiring 30,000 kW of power or more from their PV systems. The company does not currently offer solar power systems to the residential marketplace.

From a North American perspective, First Solar Inc. is a bit of innovation when it comes to providing solar power electricity to the marketplace. In North America, the general focus on solar power is often directed toward the residential customer. First Solar Inc., works from the opposite direction, offering full systems and support for large systems found primarily in Europe. The company’s technology-driven thin film products are suited for larger projects where efficiencies and predictability can realize substantial benefits. Although the company’s highly automated manufacturing process produces consistent products required for larger projects, it is likely that their successes are derived from the predictability that the products yield. Low-light power conversion rates and a system wide physical durability makes power-related decision making predictable for customers, a highly desirable selling point for all concerned.

Predictability is also found in the company’s earnings and general business plan. It has a manageable distribution and installation system in place which is structured in such a way that not any company can install and service its systems. Indeed, consistency across all aspects of the company is a new concept in the burgeoning solar power marketplace.

From a positive point of view, the company’s revenues are anything but consistent, reflecting the company’s breaking out of the solar power commercial field. The company’s $504 million 2007 revenue results are up significantly from its year ending $135 million in 2006. Quarter over quarter results reflect the same increases through the 2007 calendar year. It is difficult to speculate from an overall standpoint, but – considering that the company derives a majority of income from Europe and is generating obscene amounts of revenue for a marketplace known as an emerging market – the future of First Solar Inc. appears remarkable and one that should not be ignored.

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