In a research report published on Monday, Argus analyst Stephen Biggar reduced his 2017 EPS estimates for First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), after the company announced that it would accelerate production of its Series 6 module into 2018, entirely bypassing the previously planned Series 5. According to Biggar, although the move will reduce the overall cost of the Series 6, it will significantly lower earnings in 2017. The analyst reduced 2017 EPS to $0.55 from $2.50, while raising 2016 estimate to $4.67 from $4.35 to reflect the approved sale of the Stateline project as well as the company’s strong third-quarter margins.
Biggar noted, “Although we remain optimistic about the company’s long-term earnings power once the Series 6 module reaches the market, we are more bearish in the near term. Investors should also expect FSLR’s financial results to be uneven on a quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year basis due to the timing of revenue recognition.”
As such, the analyst reiterated a Hold rating on shares of First Solar without suggesting a price target.
As usual, we like to include the analyst’s trackrecord when reporting on new analyst notes. According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Stephen Biggar has a yearly average return of 4.4% and a 61.9% success rate. Biggar has a -22.3% average return when recommending FSLR, and is ranked #1221 out of 4227 analysts.
Out of the 22 analysts polled by TipRanks, 4 rate First Solar stock a Buy, 16 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend Sell. With a return potential of 39.5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $40.75.