First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) Upgraded by Vetr Inc. to Strong-Buy

Vetr upgraded shares of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. Vetr currently has $53.04 price target on the solar cell manufacturer’s stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of First Solar from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. JMP Securities set a $67.00 price target on shares of First Solar and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. TheStreet raised shares of First Solar from a d+ rating to a c rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. ValuEngine raised shares of First Solar from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Roth Capital upped their price target on shares of First Solar from $40.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $45.18.

Shares of First Solar (NASDAQ FSLR) traded up 0.38% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $47.38. 402,702 shares of the company were exchanged. The company’s market capitalization is $4.95 billion. First Solar has a 1-year low of $25.56 and a 1-year high of $53.00. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $47.68 and its 200 day moving average is $40.16.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The solar cell manufacturer reported $0.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.60. The company had revenue of $623.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $591.55 million. First Solar had a negative net margin of 18.80% and a positive return on equity of 6.43%. First Solar’s revenue was down 38.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.87 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that First Solar will post $2.11 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, CEO Mark R. Widmar sold 43,189 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.55, for a total value of $2,096,825.95. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 107,454 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,216,891.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Philip Dejong sold 21,091 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.73, for a total transaction of $1,048,855.43. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 23,646 shares in the company, valued at $1,175,915.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 94,674 shares of company stock worth $4,655,846. 0.58% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI boosted its holdings 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 in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its holdings in shares of First Solar by 67.2% in 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 buying an additional 109,938 shares in the last quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Solar in the 2nd quarter valued at about $14,135,000. HighTower Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of First Solar by 13.2% in the 1st quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 22,791 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $617,000 after buying an additional 2,662 shares in the last quarter. Finally, James Investment Research Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of First Solar by 836.5% in the 2nd quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 56,190 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $2,241,000 after buying an additional 50,190 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.08% 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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