Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded shares of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Thursday morning. The firm currently has $42.00 target price on the solar cell manufacturer’s stock, down from their prior target price of $58.00.
Several other brokerages have also commented on FSLR. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $44.00 price objective on shares of First Solar in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Robert W. Baird reissued an outperform rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of First Solar in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Vetr lowered First Solar from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $54.99 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Morgan Stanley set a $59.00 price target on First Solar and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Needham & Company LLC reissued a hold rating on shares of First Solar in a report on Monday, June 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. First Solar presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $56.83.
Shares of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) traded down 5.23% during trading on Thursday, hitting $37.67. The stock had a trading volume of 2,910,021 shares. First Solar has a 12 month low of $33.74 and a 12 month high of $74.29. The company has a market cap of $3.86 billion, a PE ratio of 5.55 and a beta of 1.54. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $37.43 and a 200 day moving average of $48.36.
First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The solar cell manufacturer reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.32. First Solar had a return on equity of 13.78% and a net margin of 17.45%. The company earned $934.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $862.68 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.93 earnings per share. First Solar’s revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that First Solar will post $4.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, insider Georges Antoun sold 133,761 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.54, for a total value of $5,957,714.94. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 151,471 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,746,518.34. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Philip Dejong sold 67,251 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.28, for a total value of $2,977,874.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 45,499 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,014,695.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FSLR. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 3.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,645,256 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $322,162,000 after buying an additional 208,676 shares during the period. Capital World Investors boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 43.8% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 2,875,000 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $139,380,000 after buying an additional 875,000 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 0.5% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,589,167 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $125,528,000 after buying an additional 11,925 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 25.2% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,534,789 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $122,884,000 after buying an additional 509,527 shares during the period. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of First Solar by 50.9% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 2,130,033 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $103,264,000 after buying an additional 718,308 shares during the period. 57.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About First Solar
First Solar, Inc is a provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The Company designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with thin-film semiconductor technology, and also develops, designs, constructs and sells PV solar power solutions. The Company operates through two segments: components and systems.
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