First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. They currently have $68.00 target price on the solar cell manufacturer’s stock.

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 research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Axiom Securities reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of First Solar in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $64.00 price target on shares of First Solar in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Deutsche Bank AG raised First Solar from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the stock from $50.00 to $65.00 in a report on Friday, September 15th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of First Solar in a report on Sunday, September 3rd. Finally, Vetr downgraded First Solar from a buy rating to a sell rating and set a $46.69 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, July 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $47.63.

First Solar (FSLR) traded up 4.72% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $57.41. 3,833,556 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock’s market cap is $5.99 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $48.58 and its 200-day moving average is $42.41. First Solar has a 12 month low of $25.56 and a 12 month high of $61.47.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The solar cell manufacturer reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $1.11. First Solar had a positive return on equity of 8.07% and a negative net margin of 14.70%. The firm had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $859.22 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.22 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 59.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that First Solar will post $2.44 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, CFO Alexander R. Bradley sold 566 shares of First Solar stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.66, for a total transaction of $27,541.56. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 963 shares in the company, valued at approximately $46,859.58. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.58% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in First Solar during the 3rd quarter worth about $777,000. Chicago Equity Partners LLC purchased a new stake in First Solar during the 3rd quarter worth about $2,155,000. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its position in First Solar by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 109,253 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $5,013,000 after purchasing an additional 1,260 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in First Solar by 16.7% during the 3rd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 108,800 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $4,992,000 after purchasing an additional 15,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zevin Asset Management LLC increased its position in First Solar by 5.5% during the 3rd quarter. Zevin Asset Management LLC now owns 25,620 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $1,175,000 after purchasing an additional 1,335 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.10% 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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