The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), First Solar whiffed on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased significantly. Non-GAAP earnings per share increased significantly. GAAP earnings per share expanded.
Margins grew across the board.
First Solar tallied revenue of $1.08 billion. The 21 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected revenue of $1.32 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 63% higher than the prior-year quarter's $660.4 million.
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 $2.04. The 25 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $1.73 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $2.04 for Q4 were 62% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.26 per share. GAAP EPS were $1.74 for Q4 compared to -$4.78 per share for the prior-year quarter.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 27.3%, 640 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 18.3%, much better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.3%, much better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $821.6 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.90.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.57 billion. The average EPS estimate is $4.04.
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 3,154 members out of 3,896 rating the stock outperform, and 742 members rating it underperform. Among 615 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 417 give First Solar a green thumbs-up, and 198 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 $23.41.
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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 position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.