First Solar (FSLR) Sinks As Co. Plans to Double Its German Plant Capacity

First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) shares hit new lows today, slumping as much as 4 percent to $100.19 and getting closer to the psychological 52-wk low level of $98.71.

The PPS deterioration comes as the world’s lowest-cost photovoltaic solar manufacturer announced plans to double production capacity at its German plant in Frankfurt an der Oder, to cater to strong European demand.

First Solar said it is in advanced talks with the German authorities to obtain the necessary regulatory permits and financial framework for the expansion, which would increase the plant’s annual manufacturing capacity to about 446 megawatts [MW] by Q4 2011, from its current 223-MW capacity.

First Solar didn’t say how much the expansion was expected to cost.

The expansion would be the first major foreign direct investment in the German green technology sector this year and will help First Solar to increase its natural income hedge against euro/dollar exchange rate risk by producing more in Germany for European customer demand, the co. said in a statement.

The German state of Brandenburg welcomed the announcement and described it as an endorsement of its strategy to further expand the production of renewable energy.

Shares of FSLR fell $2.50, or 2.38%, at 2:32PM EDT in Nasdaq trading.

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