Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of solar cost-leader First Solar
So what: First Solar eased some fears today by releasing earnings early and showing a solid profit. Third-quarter revenue was $1 billion and profit rose to $2.25 per share. For the full year, management is expecting revenue between $3 billion and $3.3 billion, and earnings per share between $6.50 and $7.50.
Now what: The profitability First Solar is showing despite the challenges in the sector would make almost any manufacturer jealous. But that doesn't mean challenges aren't ahead. First Solar is competing with Chinese manufacturers that not only have seen costs fall but are in a position in which they need to get rid of modules, no matter the price.
I still own shares of First Solar and I'm not selling today, but I'm not buying either. If there's a strategic change or First Solar introduces a new technology, I may change my tune, but right now I will wait this one out.
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