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First Solar, Inc. Message Board

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  • telecom_funds telecom_funds Nov 14, 2011 9:09 PM Flag


    i agree biofuels are out

    solar and wind will be part of the energy mix

    the question on solar is whether all the panels will be chinese-made or whether u.s. producers can compete as well

    right now the heavy subsidization of chinese solars are allowing them to undercut ALL other producers

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    • Chinese Solar Panel Manufacturers are selling in loss and some of them have gone out of business.
      The following is a Transcript of Earnings Q&A which was held on November 3rd 2011.

      Satya Kumar - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

      If we assume that the Brazilian companies are where they are in terms of pricing, $0.90 to $1, do you think that you can sell all that you're going to be making in Q4, how roughly are you thinking about production utilization rates in Q4 and for the next few quarters? That's one. And on the coal cost per watt, that number has been flat for the last 4 quarters with $0.73 and even if I go back 7 quarters, it's down just a couple of pennies. Why should there be more conviction on the sharper trajectory of cost reductions you're talking about for 2012?

      Mark R. Widmar

      Yes, so I guess I'll just take the cost per watt discussion first and, Satya, what we said before, even last quarter, it's kind of the same thought process with -- we have a best line with best efficiency and we also have our best line with lowest cost, right? And then we communicated last quarter that our best line, I think, was actually sub $0.70, right? And so we know we have the ability within the platform. It's a matter of scaling the consistency across the platform, driving to the higher efficiency and the costs will come down, right? So when we do the math, and it's very predictable to do the math in understanding the improvement and the benefit of the efficiency gains have on the cost per watt, so we're very confident and, as we said in our release, we will exit 2012 with a cost per watt in the mid '60s, right? And we know we can get there with our efficiency. We've demonstrated our capability in our best line to getting the cost down to that level, so we're very comfortable with making that statement at this point in time. I think the other question you had was on Q4 and where crystalline silicon guys are pricing and how we're thinking about it. Yes, clearly, our ability to sell-through is always reflective of relative price position, and we will make sure that we are in price position to sell through. We will obviously have the advantage of our U.S. VG, our Systems pipeline. The activity in those projects is starting to ramp now, so we'll be able to absorb a significant amount of our Q4 production into our Systems business. So at this point in time, we will continue to run our operations at capacity because we have underlying demand. As we look forward, if we see any changes into that profile then we'll have to reassess but at this point in time, given the backlog we have with U.S. VG and demand we have on third-party Module sales, it requires a full capacity production.

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