North Coast Solar Stocks

June 3, 2009

First Solar: Trouble At Major Customer Ecostream

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:03 pm

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

First Solar (FSLR) is likely to feel the effects of the financial troubles at the parent company of Utrecht-based Ecostream, which is a significant customer. This is going to be a little convoluted but stay with me here.

According to Gordon Johnson, an analyst at Hapoalim Securities, Ecostream recently has accounted for 7%-8% of First Solar’s assets. The parent of Ecostream, also based in Utrecht, is a company called Econcern, which in late May filed for bankruptcy, or as they say in Utrecht, the company “filed for suspension of payments.” And there is now new evidence that Ecostream is being hurt by the troubles of its parent.

Ubbink Solar Modules, a unit of a German company called Centrosolar, announced today that it is closing a solar module manufacturing plant in Doesburg, the Netherlands. Why does that matter? Because Centrosolar is shutting the plant due to the loss of its business with Ecostream, its principal customer, as a result of the “suspension of payment order” concerning Econcern.

So if Ecostream isn’t paying Ubbink, it seems unlikely they are paying First Solar.

And that’s not good for FSLR and its holders.

FSLR today is down $7.62, or 4.1%, to $176.88.

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