Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, First Solar manufactures solar energy panels and powerplants. First Solars business is comprised of multiple segments including, among others, the modules segment (Modules), which manufactures solar panel units, and the project development segment (Project Development), which buys land, develops sites, installs solar panel units, and then sells the entire site to a buyer. The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made repeated misrepresentations to investors regarding the development of its newest Series 6 solar module, the cost per unit it could achieve with that module, and the impact the changeover to this new product would have on the viability of its other business segments. As a result of Defendants misrepresentations, First Solar common stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period. The truth about First Solars difficulties transitioning to the Series 6 solar module was revealed through a series of disclosures. First, on January 15, 2020, Barclays reported that First Solar had seemingly been priced-out of the U.S. solar market, and that the Company had obfuscated its rapidly declining market share through misleading financial reporting. On February 6, 2020, Barclays further reported that First Solars aggressive attempts to win back market share were leading to lower Project Development contract prices and cutting into the Companys margins. Then, on February 20, 2020, First Solar announced that it was exploring a sale of its Project Development business. Further, First Solar acknowledged that it was experiencing challenges with regard to certain aspects of the overall cost per watt and that the Company would no longer be disclosing a discrete cost per watt for its Series 6 units. As a result of these disclosures, First Solars share price declined precipitously.
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