Zacks: Brokerages Expect First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) to Post $0.45 EPS

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Equities research analysts expect First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) to announce earnings per share (EPS) of $0.45 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have provided estimates for First Solar’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.34 and the highest is $0.57. First Solar reported earnings of $1.95 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 76.9%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings report after the market closes on Thursday, October 25th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Solar will report full-year earnings of $1.67 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.57 to $1.78. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $3.19 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.21 to $4.15. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for First Solar.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The solar cell manufacturer reported ($0.46) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.03) by ($0.43). First Solar had a negative net margin of 8.35% and a positive return on equity of 4.12%. The firm had revenue of $309.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $509.19 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.64 earnings per share. First Solar’s revenue was down 50.4% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several research firms have recently commented on FSLR. Zacks Investment Research cut First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 4th. BidaskClub cut First Solar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on First Solar from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 2nd. Cowen restated a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price target on shares of First Solar in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC cut their price target on First Solar to $75.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Solar presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.85.

Shares of First Solar stock traded down $0.48 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $46.74. 25,742 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,893,549. First Solar has a 1 year low of $44.72 and a 1 year high of $81.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09, a current ratio of 4.89 and a quick ratio of 4.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.07 billion, a PE ratio of 18.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.46.

In other First Solar news, insider Georges Antoun sold 3,142 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.72, for a total value of $165,646.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 71,251 shares in the company, valued at $3,756,352.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CTO Raffi Garabedian sold 4,159 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.91, for a total value of $220,052.69. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief technology officer now owns 5,520 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $292,063.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 11,614 shares of company stock valued at $609,251 in the last quarter. 0.54% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FSLR. Luminus Management LLC increased its position in shares of First Solar by 5,435.8% in the second quarter. Luminus Management LLC now owns 1,292,562 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $68,067,000 after buying an additional 1,269,213 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in shares of First Solar by 98.9% during the second quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 2,014,693 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $106,094,000 after acquiring an additional 1,001,993 shares during the last quarter. UBS Group AG boosted its stake in shares of First Solar by 1,972.9% during the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 309,703 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $21,982,000 after acquiring an additional 326,239 shares during the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of First Solar by 56.6% during the second quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 862,950 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $45,443,000 after acquiring an additional 311,998 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of First Solar by 75,478.1% during the second quarter. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC now owns 200,282 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $10,547,000 after acquiring an additional 200,017 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 54.20% of the company’s stock.

About First Solar

First Solar, Inc provides photovoltaic solar energy solutions in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Components 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.

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