First Solar Stock Rises on Earnings Beat — Is It a Buy?

Ambrish Shah - Author

Oct. 28 2020, Updated 1:24 p.m. ET

FSLR stock rose 12 percent in after-hours trading on Oct. 27 after First Solar posted its third-quarter earnings results. The company's third-quarter earnings and sales beat analysts’ consensus expectations. We'll discuss the company's third-quarter highlights and outlook.

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What is First Solar’s stock news?

In the third quarter, First Solar reported an EPS of $1.45 compared to $0.29 in the third quarter of 2019. The EPS beat analysts’ average estimate of $0.63. First Solar generated sales of $927.6 million in the third quarter, which was 70 percent more than it did in the third quarter of 2019. The company beat analysts’ average sales estimate of $676.5 million.

FSLR Stock Reacts To First Solar Earnings
Source: First Solar
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In the third-quarter earnings release, First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said, “The dedication we continue to witness from our associates enabled us to expand module segment gross margin, close the sales of our Ishikawa, Miyagi, and Anamizu projects in Japan, and increase earnings per share quarter-over-quarter. This result reflects the strengths of our competitively advantaged CdTe modules and vertically integrated manufacturing process.”

First Solar expects revenue of $540 million–$790 million in the fourth quarter and an EPS of $1.00–$1.50. For 2020, the company expects revenue of $2.6 billion–$2.9 billion and an EPS of $3.65–$4.15.

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What is FSLR’s stock price today?

FSLR stock was up about 9.4 percent at $90.16 in pre-market trading as of 9:05 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The stock fell 1.6 percent on Oct. 27 and closed at $82.39 with a market capitalization of $8.7 billion. FSLR stock has risen by 1 percent in the last five days and 58.9 percent in the last year.

FSLR stock is trading 5.8 percent below its 52-week high of $87.44 and 189.4 percent above its 52-week low of $28.47. Year-to-date, the stock had risen by 47.2 percent as of Oct. 27.

FSLR stock on Stocktwits

FSLR stock has become a major talking point on Stocktwits and other social platforms. While some investors on Stocktwits see the strong third-quarter earnings results as a good reason to buy FSLR stock, others weren’t impressed with the company’s guidance and think that the stock will fall.

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first solar stock forecast
Source: First Solar

What is First Solar’s stock forecast?

Currently, analysts' stock price forecast for First Solar is $69.81, which suggests a 15.3 percent downside. The highest target price of $91 implies a 10.4 percent upside, while the lowest target of $38 suggests a 53.9 percent downside. Among the 17 Wall Street analysts tracking First Solar, nine recommend a buy, eight recommend a hold, and none recommend a sell.

First Solar is on many investors' radars before the U.S. presidential election. The renewable energy sector would likely benefit from a Joe Biden victory. Biden wants to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. First Solar stock would be one of the best stocks to buy if Biden wins the election.


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