First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) investors woke up on Thursday to find the stock trading 18% lower following a disappointing third-quarter results. The photovoltaics giant reported non-GAAP earnings of $1.22 per share on $688 million in revenue, compared to the consensus estimates of 69 cents per share and $958 million driven by lower system revenue. In addition, First Solar reduced its full-year sales outlook to be in the range of $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion, down from its prior guidance of $3.8 billion to $4.0 billion.
“In the third quarter our operational and financial results were solid,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Our entire fleet module efficiency for the past quarter was 16.5% and our lead line efficiency exited the quarter at 16.9%, demonstrating continued execution on our technology roadmap. We are pleased with our current year financial performance; however, current market conditions are extremely challenging and require us to carefully assess our short and long-term strategic response.”
On the ratings front, First Solar has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch downgraded FSLR to Hold. Separately, Needham’s Edwin Mok maintained a Hold rating on the stock.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Colin Rusch and Edwin Mok have a yearly average return of 5.4% and 2.7% respectively. Rusch has a success rate of 39% and is ranked #576 out of 4165 analysts, while Mok has a success rate of 53% and is ranked #706.
The street is mostly Neutral on FSLR stock. Out of 16 analysts who cover the stock, 13 suggest a Hold rating , 2 suggest a Buy and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $45.50, which implies an upside of 18% from current levels.
First Solar, Inc. operates as a solar energy solutions company. It engages in the designing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of photovoltaic solar power systems and solar modules with an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology. The company operates in two business segments: Components and Systems. The Components segment designs, manufactures and sells solar modules primarily to solar project developers and system integrators. The Systems segment provides a complete solar power system solution, which includes project development, engineering, procurement and construction services, operating and maintenance services. It also develops sites for building solar power systems using solar modules and provides a complete solar power system solution, which includes project development, engineering, procurement and construction services, operating and maintenance services.