Market Overview

First Solar Rallies To 9-Year High On Big Q3 Beat

First Solar Rallies To 9-Year High On Big Q3 Beat

Shares of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) are defying the market sell-off following strong quarterly results.

What Happened: The Tempe, Arizona-based solar energy solutions provider reported third-quarter revenues of $927.57 million, up about 70% year-over-year and about 44% higher than in the previous quarter. Analysts, on average, had estimated revenues of $693.13 million.

The company attributed the upside to international project sales, and an increase in the volume of modules sold to third parties.

The outperformance was due to Japan project asset sale pull-in, according to Credit Suisse.

The earnings per share jumped from 29 cents to $1.45, notably higher than the 61-cent per-share consensus estimate.

"The dedication we continue to witness from our associates enabled us to expand module segment gross margin, close the sales of our Ishikawa, Miyagi, and Anamizu projects in Japan, and increase earnings per share quarter-over-quarter," said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. "This result reflects the strengths of our competitively advantaged CdTe modules and vertically integrated manufacturing process."

Related Link: 2 First Solar Analysts Take Opposite Sides Of Trade Before Q3 Report

What's Next: First Solar reinstated its previously withdrawn guidance, reasoning that its financial results have not been materially impacted by COVID-19.

The company expects fourth-quarter revenues of $540 million to $790 million, below the consensus estimate of $814.63 million. For the full year, the company guided to revenues of $2.6 billion to $2.9 billion compared to the consensus estimate of $2.67 billion.

Credit Suisse increased its 2020 EPS estimate from $2.99 to $3.96 due to higher gross margin percentage on projects and modules.

The firm has an Underperform rating and $64 price target for First Solar shares.

Reacting to the strong results, First Solar shares were surging to their highest level since late-2011, up 11.71% to $92.04.


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