Will This 'Buy' Rating Help First Solar (FSLR) Stock Today?

Tickers in this article: FSLR

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- First Solar shares had coverage initiated with a "buy" rating by analysts at Brean Capital. The firm set a price target of $83 on the shares.

First Solar shares are up 1.2% to $70.05 in early market trading.

"We consider First Solar the premier market participant in the solar industry, given its breadth of vertical integration, financial strength, and ability to adapt to changing end-market conditions while continuing to innovate its product and service offerings."

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FIRST SOLAR INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FIRST SOLAR INC (FSLR) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FSLR's share price has jumped by 79.94%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • FSLR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, FSLR has a quick ratio of 1.53, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 28.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRST SOLAR INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.62%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.49% trails that of the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 57.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $154.18 million to $65.26 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FSLR Ratings Report
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