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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