Is First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) Back In The Buying Zone?


    Wellington Management Co. LLP recently announced the acquisition of new stake in First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Technology company by 122.81% to 11.03 million shares with purchase of 6.08 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 10.42% valued currently at $546.22 million. In addition, The Vanguard Group, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.11 million to 7.09 million shares. And SSgA Funds Management, Inc. has lifted its position by 0.43% or 9014.0 shares – to 2.12 million shares.

    With over 1.63 million First Solar Inc. (FSLR) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $62.16 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $101.12 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 10.59% and its price on 07/20/20 gained nearly 1.90%. Currently, there are 105.60M common shares owned by the public and among those 75.88M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 15 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for FSLR have a consensus price objective of $58.75. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $75.00 and a low of $38.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the First Solar Inc. stock is 2.30 for the next 12 months. The average price target is -15.05% below its last price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -63.58% over that period. But an upside of 17.12% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $61.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 165 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 77 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 375,767 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 88 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 373,208 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in First Solar Inc. are Hartford Mid Cap Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF. Hartford Mid Cap Fund owns 2.33 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $115.13 million. The company bought an additional 1.11 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.20% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 11559.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 2.12 million shares valued at over $105.06 million and representing 2.00% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF now owns shares totaling to 1.93% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) opened at $60.92, down -$0.08 from a prior closing price of $61.00. However, the script later closed the day at $62.16, up 1.90%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 10.59% and 51.61% over the past three months. FSLR shares are trading 11.08% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -6.57% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $28.47 and touched a high of $69.24 over the same period. Currently, 1.63 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.36 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 15.48%, 25.60%, and 25.66% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) shares accounts for 72.10% of the company’s 105.60M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 26.20%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 42.83% and 25.94% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $6.37B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.31. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 155.01, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $0.40. The company has a PEG of 5.96 and a Quick Ratio of 3.10 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.09. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 6.14% over the week and 4.71% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that First Solar Inc. (FSLR) will achieve an EPS of $0.22 for the current quarter, $0.64 for the next quarter and $3.28 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.11 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.65. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was -$0.18 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -186.50%, and 21.25% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 25.99% over the next five years, compared to -17.90% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 15 brokerage firm advisors rate First Solar Inc. (FSLR) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.30. Specifically, 7 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 5 of the 15 advise that investors “hold,” and 1 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the FSLR, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. BofA/Merrill stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on March 31, 2020, with the firm’s price target at. Raymond James coverage for the First Solar Inc. (FSLR) stock in a research note released on February 24, 2020 offered a Outperform rating with a price target of $65. BofA/Merrill was of a view on February 24, 2020 that the stock is Underperform, while Cascend Securities gave the stock Buy rating on February 21, 2020, issuing a price target of $75- $60. Barclays on their part issued Underweight rating on January 15, 2020.


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