First Solar Surges on Strong Guidance

Shares of First Solar are surging on Wednesday even as the Dow Jones remains largely unchanged.

Mar 19, 2014 at 11:20AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up just three points as of 11 a.m. EDT as the market waits for the latest word from the Federal Reserve. Dow Jones component IBM (NYSE:IBM) traded lower alongside tech giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL). First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), however, was a notable outperformer, surging more than 12% early in the session.

Waiting for the Fed
Although the Dow Jones wasn't doing much early on Wednesday, that could change when the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. releases its outlook on the economy, its decision on interest rates, and its economic projections. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will comment on the decision 30 minutes later.

It's likely that the Fed will keep interest rates unchanged, but the central bank seems likely to further alter its bond-buying, which now stands at $65 billion per month. The rate at which the Fed reduces its bond purchases could change -- speed up, slow down, or even reverse. While continued, gradual tapering is expected, a massive reduction could send stocks lower, while a cessation of the tapering process, or an expansion of the Fed's monetary easing program, could send the Dow Jones higher in afternoon trade.

IBM's Watson continues to improve
IBM shares were down 0.6% to slightly underperform the Dow Jones early on Wednesday, but there wasn't much news to account for the sell-off. Big Blue announced that its cloud-based supercomputer Watson would help genetic researchers sequence DNA. While Watson could emerge as a promising product for IBM in the coming years, it isn't particularly vital to the company's bottom line for the time being.

Google moves into wearables
Google, down 0.4%, yesterday announced a new initiative designed to extend its Android operating system to wearable devices: "Android Wear" allows Google's hardware partners to add smart functionality to a variety of wearable computing devices. Both Motorola and LG will release smartwatches based on Android Wear in the coming months.

First Solar expects a strong quarter
First Solar shares surged after the solar panel producer said fiscal 2013 earnings would come in higher than expected. It also projected fiscal 2014 revenue in the $3.7 billion-$4 billion range; analysts had only expected the company to generate about $3.8 billion of revenue.

First Solar has been a particularly volatile stock in recent years, running to a high near $300 per share in 2008 before hitting a low near $10. Shares have rebounded somewhat, but remain prone to wild swings.

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Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and International Business Machines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

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This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

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That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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