Zacks: Brokerages Expect First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) to Post -$0.03 EPS

Wall Street analysts expect First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) to post ($0.03) earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have provided estimates for First Solar’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $0.42 and the lowest estimate coming in at ($0.37). First Solar reported earnings of $0.78 per share during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year over year growth rate of 103.8%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, April 25th.

On average, analysts expect that First Solar will report full year earnings of $2.47 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.36 to $2.65. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $3.44 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.93 to $4.02. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow First Solar.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 21st. The solar cell manufacturer reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by ($0.15). The firm had revenue of $691.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $812.52 million. First Solar had a net margin of 6.43% and a return on equity of 2.80%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 103.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.25) earnings per share.

A number of analysts have recently commented on FSLR shares. Barclays started coverage on First Solar in a report on Monday, January 7th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $63.00 price target on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded First Solar to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. BidaskClub lowered First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, February 9th. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of First Solar in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their target price on First Solar to $70.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, February 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. First Solar has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.60.

Shares of First Solar stock opened at $59.85 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.30 billion, a PE ratio of 44.01, a PEG ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 1.27. First Solar has a one year low of $36.51 and a one year high of $81.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09, a quick ratio of 4.11 and a current ratio of 4.57.

In related news, CEO Mark R. Widmar sold 33,371 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total transaction of $2,002,260.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 152,510 shares in the company, valued at $9,150,600. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Alexander R. Bradley sold 6,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.65, for a total value of $344,808.55. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 6,427 shares in the company, valued at approximately $344,808.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 42,033 shares of company stock worth $2,461,122 in the last quarter. 0.72% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FSLR. JOYN Advisors Inc. raised its stake in First Solar by 130.2% in the fourth quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 603 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 341 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in First Solar by 3,850.9% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,267,749 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 1,235,661 shares during the period. Private Capital Group LLC raised its stake in First Solar by 68.6% in the fourth quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,165 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $49,000 after buying an additional 474 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC raised its stake in First Solar by 180.2% in the fourth quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 1,555 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $66,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Finally, ETF Managers Group LLC raised its stake in First Solar by 15.8% in the fourth quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC now owns 1,828 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $78,000 after buying an additional 249 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.03% of the company’s stock.

About First Solar

First Solar, Inc provides photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Modules and Systems. The Components segment designs, manufactures, and sells cadmium telluride solar modules that convert sunlight into electricity. This segment offers its products to integrators and operators of PV solar power systems.

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