Zacks Investment Research Downgrades First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “First Solar’s third-quarter 2017 earnings and revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year. The company also raised its 2017 earnings guidance. Meanwhile, it continues to focus on retaining its competitive edge and aims to further consolidate its position in the solar market.  In fact, First Solar’s constant product innovation efforts will continue to attract customers and expand its revenue stream. The company also outperformed the broader industry in the last year. However, President Trump’s recent walk out from the landmark Paris deal, apart from initiatives to repeal the Clean Power Plan and boost coal production has kept the entire solar industry under immense pressure.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Vetr raised First Solar from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $64.01 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Roth Capital set a $60.00 price objective on First Solar and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Needham & Company LLC raised First Solar from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, October 27th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of First Solar in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, JMP Securities reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $50.00 price objective (down from $67.00) on shares of First Solar in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $47.61.

Shares of First Solar (NASDAQ FSLR) traded down $0.02 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $61.57. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,198,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,834,022. The firm has a market cap of $6,432.03, a PE ratio of 15.10 and a beta of 1.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06, a current ratio of 6.85 and a quick ratio of 6.47. First Solar has a 52-week low of $25.56 and a 52-week high of $62.57.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The solar cell manufacturer reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $1.11. The firm had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $859.22 million. First Solar had a positive return on equity of 8.07% and a negative net margin of 14.70%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 59.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.22 EPS. equities research analysts expect that First Solar will post 2.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI grew its position in shares of First Solar by 72.5% in the 2nd quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 190,386 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $7,593,000 after buying an additional 79,987 shares during the last quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Solar during the 2nd quarter valued at about $14,135,000. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 67.2% during the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 273,426 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $7,409,000 after purchasing an additional 109,938 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 34.3% during the 3rd quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 38,704 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $2,547,000 after purchasing an additional 9,893 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Handelsbanken Fonder AB boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 26.0% during the 3rd quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB now owns 101,679 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $4,665,000 after purchasing an additional 21,000 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.55% of the company’s stock.

About First Solar

First Solar, Inc is a provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The Company designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with a thin-film semiconductor technology. The Company also develops, designs, constructs and sells PV solar power systems that primarily use the modules it manufactures.

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