First Solar Analyst Day: Conservative Growth Plans In Spite Of Exceptional Roadmap
EnerTuition • 23 Comments
EnerTuition • 23 Comments
First Solar Sets Far Too Conservative Guidance
EnerTuition • 29 Comments
EnerTuition • 29 Comments
First Solar Proves Solar Skeptics Wrong Again
Fri, Jul. 15, 10:10 AM
- Wells Fargo ticks off 20 S&P 500 stocks with the most upside potential vs. consensus, and the 20 with the most downside risk vs. consensus.
- The list is compiled by comparing the midpoint of Wells Fargo Securities valuation ranges to consensus fair value estimates, volatility adjusting the percentage difference, and ranking the resulting score.
- Upside: AEE, BEN, CCL, DVA, EIX, ES, EXC, FTR, HUM, INTC, JNJ, LNT, PEG, PNW, SCG, T, WEC, WU, XEL, XOM.
- Downside: ANTM, C, CI, COF, EQT, FOXA, FSLR, GS, KIM, LH, MON, MSI, MYL, NVDA, NWSA, SLG, TIF, TSO, UA, WLTW.
Thu, Jul. 7, 3:00 PM
- Citing a slower than expected ramp in bookings, a likely pause in demand ahead of the series 5 ramp, and a potential increase in pricing pressure, driven by aggressive bidding environment from the developers in international segments, analyst Vishal Shah downgrades First Solar (FSLR -10.2%) to Hold from Buy, and slashes the price target to $44 from $80 (current price after today's decline is $44).
- "Even though FSLR remains one of the best run companies in our coverage, we believe it would be difficult for management to grow earnings amidst some of the expected near term headwinds."
- His 2017 estimate for EPS is now $1.50 vs. consensus $3.18, and 2018 of $2.50 vs. $3.98.
Thu, Jul. 7, 3:00 PM
Thu, Jul. 7, 12:45 PM
Mon, Jun. 27, 9:47 AM
- 8point3 Energy Partners (CAFD -1.3%) discloses the removal of CFO Mark Widmar, VP of Operations Alexander Bradley and a director at the behest of First Solar (FSLR -4.1%).
- Widmar will be replaced as CFO July 5 by Bryan Schumaker, who is currently FSLR's Chief Accounting Officer after joining FSLR in 2008.
- Bradley will be replaced as VP of Operations by Max Gardner, who is currently VP of Project Finance (North America) after joining FSLR in 2010.
Mon, Jun. 27, 8:02 AM
Fri, Jun. 24, 2:10 PM
- Needham solar analyst Edwin Mok sees significant implications for the industry from the Brexit vote, amplifying bearishness on several names.
- The biggest hit will come for module and inverter makers like First Solar (FSLR -5.3%), along with Chinese makers, including Trina Solar (TSL -4.5%), JinkoSolar (JKS -5.6%), Canadian Solar (CSIQ -10.4%) and JA Solar (JASO -4.1%), he writes. A weaker euro means price impact: "Additionally, if Brexit results in slower demand, it could exacerbate module oversupply just as multiple producers are adding capacity. This in turn could also drive prices lower."
- A notable exception for Mok is SolarEdge (SEDG -4.5%), for which he maintains a Buy. Still: "The vast majority of [SEDG] sales are priced in the euro. With limited cost infrastructure in Europe as a natural hedge, weakness in the euro would have a direct impact to SEDG’s bottom line."
- And U.S. firms like SolarCity (SCTY -2.4%), Sunrun (RUN -7.4%) and Vivint (VSLR -4.7%) could benefit with zero international exposure and possibly lower costs of capital.
Wed, May 18, 3:03 PM
- Argus sill thinks First Solar (FSLR +0.5%) is best positioned among solar firms despite a miss on Q1 revenue that sent the stock sliding.
- It's got "profitability, cost-effective technology, and strong balance sheet and cash flow," says analyst David Coleman, who's maintaining a Buy rating but cutting the firm's price target to $66 from $90.
- That implies 35.4% upside from here. Shares are down 20.4% since the Q1 miss that the company attributed to deal timing.
- Coleman sees volatility ahead in First Solar's results due to that timing on large-scale projects. It's investing in cadmium telluride technology, though, which should provide a cost advantage; a yieldco deal with SunPower could offer opportunities; and "FSLR should also benefit from stricter environmental regulations on fossil-fuel-based power, and increased government and public support for clean energy.”
- Now read The Future Of First Solar »
Wed, Apr. 27, 5:11 PM
- Along with its results/guidance, First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) has announced CFO Mark Widmar has been named CEO, effective July 1.
- Widmar will replace James A. Hughes who will "continue to support the company in an advisory role and remain on the Board." Chairman Michael Ahearn: "Leadership succession planning has been a joint effort between Jim and the board. As we enter a new phase of growth and development for the company, we believe that Mark’s proven leadership and expertise make this an ideal time for him to take the helm."
- Treasury/project finance VP Alexander Bradley will become interim CFO once Widmar takes over as CEO.
- First Solar's results/guidance, Q1 details
Wed, Apr. 27, 5:01 PM
- First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) blames its Q1 sales miss on "the timing of systems revenue recognition across multiple projects, partially offset by higher revenue from the Desert Stateline project." The Desert Stateline project agreement was amended to include an additional 15% interest in the project, which boosted Q1 EPS but won't impact full-year EPS.
- In addition to slightly improving EPS guidance, First Solar is upping its 2016 gross margin guidance to 18%-19% from 17%-18%, and its op. cash flow guidance to $500M-$700M from $400M-$600M. Capex guidance remains at $300M-$400M, shipment guidance at 2.9GW-3GW, and year-end net cash balance guidance at $1.9B-$2B.
- Metrics: As of today, YTD bookings total 600MW ($300M). Expected future modules shipments + third-party module sales are down by 200MW YTD to 4GW, and expected future systems + third-party module revenue is down by $500M to $6.4B. Potential booking opportunities (mostly early-stage) have risen to 23.3GW from 20.3GW at the time of the Q4 report.
Module production rose 2% Q/Q and 43% Y/y to 774MW. Capacity utilization was 100%, flat Q/Q and up from 87% a year ago. Fleet-average conversion efficiency rose 10 bps Q/Q and 150 bps Y/Y to 16.2%; lead-line efficiency was 16.4%.
- Financials: Gross margin (boosted by the Desert Stateline adjustment) rose to 31% from 24.65 in Q4 and 10.3% a year ago. SG&A spend was roughly flat Y/Y at $67.5M, and R&D spend down 13% to $30.2M. Free cash flow was $12.5M. First Solar ended Q1 with $1.89B in cash and $299M in long-term debt.
- First Solar is down 6.4% after hours to $58.06. SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), which reports on the afternoon of May 5, is down 1.3% to $21.80.
- First Solar's results/guidance, earnings release, slides (.pdf)
- Update: First Solar has also announced CFO James Widmar will be replacing James Hughes as CEO on July 1.
Wed, Apr. 27, 4:10 PM
- First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR): Q1 EPS of $1.66 beats by $0.73.
- Revenue of $848.5M (+80.8% Y/Y) misses by $118.13M.
- Now expects 2016 EPS of $4.10-$4.50 vs. prior guidance of $4.00-$4.50. Consensus is at $4.30.
- Still expects 2016 revenue of $3.8B-$4B. Consensus is at $3.96B.
- Shares -9.3% after hours.
- Press Release
Tue, Apr. 26, 5:35 PM
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Wed, Mar. 23, 3:05 PM
- Like many other energy names, solar stocks are underperforming (TAN -3.8%) on a day oil prices are giving back some of their recent gains. WTI crude is down 4.3% to $39.69/barrel, and Brent crude down 3.2% to $40.45/barrel. The S&P is down 0.6%, and the Nasdaq down 1%.
- SunEdison (down 12.1%) is among the casualties, as liquidity/solvency fears continue surrounding the beaten-up solar/wind project developer. SunEdison yieldcos TerraForm Power (TERP -3.3%) and TerraForm Global (GLBL -4.7%) are also off.
- SolarCity (SCTY -9.6%), which yesterday afternoon announced the closing of a $131M tax equity solar project fund, is also off sharply. Other notable decliners include SunPower (SPWR -7.4%), First Solar (FSLR -4%), Canadian Solar (CSIQ -4.2%), Sunrun (RUN -4.3%), Enphase (ENPH -6.5%), Daqo (DQ -5%), JinkoSolar (JKS -5.9%), Sky Solar (SKYS -11.1%), and former SunEdison acquisition target Vivint Solar (VSLR -11.3%).
Thu, Mar. 10, 2:21 PM
- First Solar's (FSLR -0.1%) operations & maintenance (O&M) business is now handling over 5GW of solar plant assets in ten countries, a figure the company declares "firmly [establishes] it as the largest solar O&M provider" in the world.
- First Solar entered the O&M market in 2009, and expanded its presence in 2014 by acquiring German O&M firm Skytron Energy. The company has operations centers in Sydney, Berlin, and Tempe, AZ.
Mon, Mar. 7, 3:11 PM
- Southern Co. (SO -0.2%) agrees to acquire the 1,000-acre East Pecos solar facility project in west Texas from First Solar (FSLR -0.5%) for an unspecified sum, its second purchase of a Pecos County solar farm in recent months.
- SO expects the proposed East Pecos solar farm to come online by the end of this year with 120 MW of power capacity; the electricity generated is being purchased by the city of Austin in a 15-year contract.
- The primary Texas grid currently has fewer than 300 MW of solar power online, but the number is expected to grow to 2,000 MW by 2018.
Tue, Mar. 1, 10:38 AM
- "[First Solar] is probably the highest-quality stock in the solar space, so it pains us to step aside at this time and in this manner, but the risk-reward trade-off seems balanced here," writes JPMorgan's Paul Coster, downgrading to Neutral. His target remains $69.
- Coster's earnings estimates are unchanged. He still praises First Solar's (FSLR -3.4%) balance sheet and thin-film module offerings, and declares fundamentals remain solid for the 2016-2018 timeframe. The downgrade comes less than a week after First Solar soared in response to a Q4 beat highlighted by strong module production growth.
First Solar, Inc. operates as a solar energy solutions company. It engages in the designing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of photovoltaic solar power systems and solar modules with an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology. The company operates in two business segments:... More
Industry: Semiconductor - Specialized
Country: United States
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