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First Solar Is Hot

Buy First Solar on dips and buy it aggressively, Cramer exclaimed on Thursday’s Mad Money. Don’t buy it because of valuation or estimates. Buy it because it is the single best way to play one of the most defining movements of our time.

Cramer’s relentless recommendation of FSLR has stirred its share of controversy as the solar industry has gone through capricious periods of ups and downs. But this stock is the best-of-breed in what he believes will become an increasingly dominant sector of the market. Here’s why:

-Unlike other solar companies, FSLR does not need subsidies to profit. The rest of the field uses a silicon-based material for its panels that is more expensive and more complicated to produce than FSLR’s film-based panels. The upside to silicon is that it is more efficient in producing energy by area, but film is catching up and is tremendously more efficient on a cost basis.

-FSLR can mass produce its panels cheaply, which is driving down the cost of a unit of energy for the industry. Also, its panels are for industrial use – mainly by utilities – so the company is less exposed to the weak consumer that’s punishing many of the other solar names.

-It could be the next Intel . FSLR’s proprietary technology allows it to build plants ready to mass produce its panels fast and cheap. That could easily leave its competitors in the dust when global demand inevitably picks up. Remember how Intel’s Pentium technology wiped the floor with any other semiconductor that got in its way in the 1990’s? Cramer thinks FSLR could do the same to the solar industry.

-While most other means of energy leave a footprint, FSLR does not. The panels last 25 years and then are recycled. No power plants, no refineries, no pollution.

-Each of the three remaining presidential candidates has endorsed solar as the best alternative energy for the future. Right now FSLR doesn’t even have business in the U.S., but Cramer would bet that’s going to change in 2009, if not sooner, especially after FSLR’s CEO, Michael Ahearn, just said on Thursday that he’s having “discussions” with domestic utilities that could spawn “initial relationships and some pilot projects.”

The writing is on the wall: Oil costs $100 a barrel. The world is committed to reducing emissions. The green energy movement is here to stay, and Cramer thinks First Solar is the ticket to profits. Watch the videofor Cramer’s responses to viewer’s questions on wind power, coal and more.


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