Head to Head Comparison: SunPower (SPWRA) versus First Solar (FSLR)

SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWRA) and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) are both energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings and dividends.


This table compares SunPower and First Solar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SunPower -38.26% -58.77% -13.77%
First Solar -18.80% 6.43% 4.94%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares SunPower and First Solar’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SunPower N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
First Solar $2.57 billion 1.93 $296.64 million ($4.84) -9.82

First Solar has higher revenue and earnings than SunPower.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

60.8% of First Solar shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of First Solar shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for SunPower and First Solar, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SunPower 0 0 0 0 N/A
First Solar 1 15 8 0 2.29

SunPower presently has a consensus price target of $0.00, indicating a potential downside of 100.00%. First Solar has a consensus price target of $43.70, indicating a potential downside of 8.07%. Given First Solar’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe First Solar is more favorable than SunPower.


First Solar beats SunPower on 8 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

About SunPower

SunPower Corporation is a global energy company. The Company delivers complete solar solutions to residential, commercial, and power plant customers. The Company’s segments include Residential Segment, Commercial Segment and Power Plant Segment. The Residential and Commercial Segments combined are referred to as Distributed Generation. The Company offers solar module technology and solar power systems that are designed to generate electricity over a system life over 25 years; Integrated Smart Energy software solutions that enable customers to manage and optimize the cooperation center of excellence (CCOE) measurement; Installation, construction, and ongoing maintenance and monitoring services; and financing solutions that provide customers a range of options for purchasing or leasing solar products at competitive energy rates. The Company offers a set of residential solutions that deliver value to homeowners and its dealer partners.

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. It operates through two segments: components and systems. The components segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules, which convert sunlight into electricity. The systems segment includes the development, construction, operation and maintenance of PV solar power systems, which primarily use its solar modules. In addition, the Company provides operations and maintenance (O&M) services to system owners that use solar modules manufactured by it or by third-party manufacturers. The Company’s solar modules had an average rated power per module of approximately 114 watts, as of December 31, 2016.

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