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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend First Solar. 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.