First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) reported earnings on Nov. 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), First Solar whiffed on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue dropped significantly and GAAP earnings per share contracted significantly.

Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
First Solar reported revenue of $839.1 million. The 27 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated revenue of $974.9 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 17% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.01 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $1.27. The 26 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.07 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.00 for Q3 were 56% lower than the prior-year quarter's $2.25 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 28.4%, 930 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 15.6%, 650 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 10.5%, 900 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.30 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.80.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.71 billion. The average EPS estimate is $4.41.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 3,161 members out of 3,915 rating the stock outperform, and 754 members rating it underperform. Among 630 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 418 give First Solar a green thumbs-up, and 212 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on First Solar is hold, with an average price target of $20.40.

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