First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) has been one of the worst performing stocks out there over the last year. Michael Ahern is searching for a new CEO after a departure or termination of Rob Gillette as CEO. There has been a management vacuum here and the landscape is such that many CEOs are not willing to take this job.
First Solar faces a solar market where the Chinese are dumping panels at prices often said to be under the natural cost of production in China. The company is facing margin pressures as long as they eye can see and even high oil prices have not translated to the love of solar again. After the Solyndra bankruptcy incident cost Joe Taxpayer a sum of about $500 million, even the White House is less active out there marketing the great alternative projects compared to 2010 and 2011.
First Solar is also looking to bolster up its board of directors. Our serious question is simple: What sort of a guy, or lady, would want to step into this role today? Unfortunately, not many takers considering the key challenges that lie ahead. Austerity measures will only play a larger and larger role in the years ahead. This is a job that will require even more of a turnaround specialist compared to traditional turnarounds.
With shares down 2.5% at $26.28 today, the 52-week trading range is $25.29 to $163.00. Yep, shares are down worse than 80%.
JON C. OGG