First Solar CEO in midday exit


No further details were disclosed by the U.S. thin film photovoltaic module manufacturer about the reason behind its announcement, although in a statement released, it did say that the search is on for a new CEO.

According to a company note issued by Jefferies, the "sudden midday departure" could have been a result of disagreements about how to take the business forward.

The analysts write, "Given that there was no disclosure of an earnings miss (and that may not be a firable offense given the poor macro environment), and no disclosure of a financial restatement or wrongdoing, we speculate the board decision may have been triggered by the company decision to walk away from an Enbridge sale of Topaz and strategic disagreements around the business model."

They continue, "Perhaps the CEO did not notify the board of the Enbridge negotiation impasse, and may have favored other off balance sheet financing mechanisms (with FSLR as an IPP). Although there were no disclosures given, the ongoing investigation of DOE loan guarantees further raises risk."

Götz Fischbeck, senior equity analyst for PV stocks at BHF Bank AG added that First Solar’s shares fell by 25 percent on the back of the news.

More information is expected to be released on November 3, along with the company’s third quarter figures.