SOURCE: Institutional Investor

Institutional Investor

February 04, 2010 09:00 ET

First Solar Is Lone Across-the-Board Winner in Institutional Investor's Ranking of U.S. Executives

Other Big Winners Include First Horizon National Corp., Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold and Staples

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 4, 2010) - First Solar, an alternative energy company headquartered in Phoenix, is the only company to finish in first place in every category in its industry sector on the 2010 All-America Executive Team, Institutional Investor's exclusive ranking of the nation's best CEOs, CFOs, investor relations professionals and IR companies.

Survey results are based on responses from buy- and sell-side equity analysts, whose votes are tabulated separately, for a total of eight categories (Best CEO as determined by the buy side, Best CEO as determined by the sell side, etc.).

Analysts on both sides say that First Solar provides the Best IR of any company in the Alternative Energy sector. In addition, they are united in their belief that First Solar has the sector's Best CEO (Michael Ahearn*), Best CFO (Jens Meyerhoff) and Best IR Professional (Larry Polizzotto).

Three companies take top honors in seven of the eight categories in their respective sectors: Memphis-based commercial bank First Horizon National Corp. (Banks/Midcap); Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, a mining outfit headquartered in Phoenix (Metals & Mining); and office-supply retailer Staples, based in Framingham, Massachusetts (Retailing/Hardlines).

The complete list of winners can be found on our Web site, www.iimagazine.com.

For more information about this ranking, please contact Michele Bickford at mbickford@iiresearchgroup.com or (212) 224-3360.

*Ahearn stepped down as CEO in October, after polling for the All-America Executive Team had concluded. He remains First Solar's executive chairman.

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Now entering its fifth decade, Institutional Investor has consistently distinguished itself among the world's foremost financial publications with ground-breaking journalism and incisive writing that provides "must read" intelligence for a global audience. In addition, throughout the year Institutional Investor offers a host of proprietary research and rankings that serve as respected industry benchmarks, informing and influencing its carefully targeted circulation base throughout the year. For more information visit www.iimagazine.com.

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