First Solar, Inc.NASDAQ
First Solar: A Unique Value And Growth Play
EnerTuition • 123 Comments
EnerTuition • 123 Comments
First Solar Analyst Day: Conservative Growth Plans In Spite Of Exceptional Roadmap
EnerTuition • 23 Comments
EnerTuition • 23 Comments
Wed, Nov. 23, 12:28 PM
- First Solar (FSLR -0.5%) is downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $32.75 price target, slashed from $57.33, at Macquarie, which cites a lack of catalysts after the company canceled the Series 5 product that was originally scheduled to launch in 2017.
- Macquarie thinks pulling forward the launch of its Series 6 product to mid-2018 from 2019 is positive for investors in the long term, but FSLR shares lack a catalyst over the nearer term.
- FSLR was cut to Sell at UBS last week on worries about the company's cash burn.
Fri, Nov. 18, 10:45 AM
- First Solar (FSLR -4.4%) is now ~9% lower since Wednesday's release of disappointing 2017 guidance (I, II, III), and UBS sees further risk to expectations in 2018 and beyond as it downgrades shares to Sell from Neutral with a $25 price target, cut from $45.
- UBS cautions that "cash burn likely [will] continue into 2018 with limited cash generation from system sales, more than offset with continued need to scale capex on full 3GW Series 6 deployment of a further $500M," and expects cash generation to remain modest in 2018 and beyond.
- With 2017 EPS guidance below expectations at $0-$0.50 and a meaningful improvement expected thereafter, UBS expects "another step-change down... we see risk should margins trend lower and/or system opportunities continue to trend below guided volume expectations."
Thu, Nov. 17, 3:37 PM
- First Solar (FSLR -6%) remains lower but off its early morning bottom, with analysts offering mixed reactions to FSLR's sharply downside 2017 guidance as the company announced plans to completely phase out its current production of the Series 4 module and cancel Series 5 while accelerating production of Series 6.
- Mizuho reiterates its Neutral rating but cuts its price target to $30 from $46, saying the improved cost and efficiency performance of S6 supports FSLR's decision but the transition is expected to last until H2 2018, with most of the benefits of S6 not realized until 2019 even in the best case scenario.
- Credit Suisse also affirms its Neutral rating while slashing its price target to $30 from $50, saying "the task ahead is daunting and will require near flawless execution... while there could very well be earnings power on the back-end, there is not much yet to point to say with confidence that it will happen."
- Baird analysts are a bit more optimistic, reiterating an Outperform rating and $33 target, recommending long-term investors buy shares on weakness in the belief that FSLR is the best positioned for long-term growth given its balance sheet, cost profile and technology.
- FSLR even gets an upgrade - to Market Perform from Underperform - at JMP Securities on valuation, which says the company's saving grace may be its large cash stockpile, as it expects to have a net cash balance of $1.4B-$1.6B at the end of FY 2017.
Thu, Nov. 17, 9:20 AM
- Gainers: RLOG +121%. SINO +99%. GSL +94%. DCIX +32%. NMM +32%. ESEA +24%. TOPS +22%. WNR +22%. NM +22%. NAO +19%. SB +18%. ANW +17%. PANL +16%. SHIP +12%. NTAP +12%. HAIN +11%. GLBS +11%. UAM +11%. GURE +10%. PLCE +8%. NNA 8%. BBY 8%. INCY 6%. RCON 6%. PLUG 6%. GNK 6%. ENDP 6%.
- Losers: LEI -26%. VUZI -18%. SPP -18%. NVTA -14%. FSLR -12%. ZX -10%. TEGP -10%. SSI -9%. STEM -8%. FOXF -8%. TTMI -7%. PFGC -6%.
Wed, Nov. 16, 5:36 PM
Wed, Nov. 16, 5:25 PM
- First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) -12% AH, trading again following an earlier halt as it offered a FY 2017 profit view well below consensus, with shipments of 2.4-2.6 GW vs. analyst expectations for ~3.0 GW.
- FSLR says it is converting its manufacturing from the current Series 4 module product to a new Series 6 model on an accelerated time frame, moving production forward by a year to 2018, and will scrap plans for a Series 5 middle product.
- The restructuring will include cutting ~1,600 jobs, more than a quarter of FSLR's 6K total global workforce, resulting in pretax charges of $500M-$700M, anticipated primarily in 2016.
- FSLR also says it is lowering its 2020 sales target for China, and notes that the slowdown in China has been a key reason behind the fall in ASPs worldwide.
Wed, Nov. 16, 4:32 PM
- First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is halted until 4:35 after raising its 2016 EPS guidance, while initiating FY 2017 guidance for earnings, revenue and PV shipments below analyst expectations.
- FSLR lifts its 2016 EPS outlook to $4.60-$4.80, and says it expects a GAAP loss of $4-$6/ share this year, vs. an earlier outlook for GAAP EPS of $3.75-$3.90; FSLR also sees 2017 GAAP results to range from a loss of $0.10/share to earnings of $0.45, and its adjusted 2017 EPS from breakeven to earnings of $0.50/share.
- FSLR announces an acceleration of Series 6 production into 2018, with ~3 GW of production expected in 2019; during 2017-18, existing production facilities will be converted to Series 6 production and the current Series 4 product will be phased out.
- Says it will reduce its workforce at its manufacturing facilities both domestically and internationally due to the transition from Series 4 to Series 6 production, and expects to incur related restructuring and asset impairment charges of $500M-$700M, which includes a cash impact of $70M-$100M.
Mon, Nov. 14, 4:57 PM
- 8point3 Energy Partners (NASDAQ:CAFD) agrees to acquire First Solar's (NASDAQ:FSLR) 34% stake in the 300 MW Stateline solar project in California for $329.5M.
- Stateline, located in San Bernardino, began operations in August and is majority owned by Southern Co. (NYSE:SO); Southern California Edison is purchasing the power generated by the project under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
- CAFD expects the project to generate ~$32M in average annual pre-tax cash distributions and has a 20-year contract life.
Wed, Nov. 9, 10:14 AM
- Solar stocks (TAN -5.4%) are among this morning's biggest losers ahead of a new Trump administration that likely will favor traditional energy sources over alternatives.
- "Trump would allocate more resources to traditional energy sectors (oil, gas and coal) than would Clinton, but allocate less to alternative energy industries,” says Mickey Levy, chief economist for the Americas and Asia at Berenberg.
- SPWR -13.9%, RUN -7.7%, VSLR -6.2%, FSLR -5.7%, SCTY -5.3%, JASO -4.2%, TSL -2.3%.
Thu, Nov. 3, 6:54 PM
- Prices of solar stocks (NYSEARCA:TAN) tumbled into a black hole today following severely bearish comments from First Solar's (NASDAQ:FSLR) earnings conference call, as it reduced its 2016 forecast for sales and shipments, and cut its capital spending budget.
- FSLR says module pricing “declined at a dramatic rate” in Q3 as other module manufacturers continue to bring new capacity online amid demand dropoff in China, which has led to oversupply and growing inventories.
- JMP Securities maintains a Market Underperform rating on FSLR with a $32 price target, noting that FSLR beat consensus Q3 earnings but was due to non-operating factors, and management's commentary suggests it will take "aggressive steps" to reposition its cost structure in a tough pricing environment.
- Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Top SunPower shareholder Total (NYSE:TOT), said at a conference in Paris that solar is facing overcapacity and lack of demand, and that “we have to find a way to make renewable businesses profitable.”
- In today's trade: FSLR -14.9%, SPWR -10.5%, CSIQ -10.7%, SKYS -12.1%, CAFD -1.5%.
Thu, Nov. 3, 3:00 PM
Thu, Nov. 3, 12:58 PM
- First Solar (FSLR -18.2%) sinks to fresh multi-year lows after reporting a big Q3 revenue miss and guiding full-year revenues below analyst consensus.
- In today's earnings conference call, CFO Alex Bradley said prices for solar panels have dropped nearly 30%, which has forced FSLR to walk away from some money-losing supply contracts; customers have delayed signing contracts in hopes of further price declines and the company has also passed on some deals because they did not make economic sense.
- Shares are downgraded by at least three firms: Roth Capital says FSLR's 2017 outlook appears more uncertain after the call and that 2017 buy-side EPS likely is closer to $1.50, Janney sees the potential for earnings “challenges deep into 2018” as potential booking opportunities have fallen, and Oppenheimer says it is moving to the sidelines until FSLR announces results from its strategic review.
Thu, Nov. 3, 9:15 AM
Wed, Nov. 2, 5:43 PM
- First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) +2.1% AH after gyrating between large gains and losses, as it beats quarterly earnings estimates for the sixth straight quarter and raises its full-year gross margin forecast for the fourth time.
- Q3 revenues fell far short of expectations, however, falling 46% Y/Y to $688M.
- FSLR says it now expects 2016 gross margins of 25.5%-26%, well above its previous range of 18.5%-19%.
- For FY 2016, FSLR sees EPS of $4.30-$4.50, vs. $4.33 analyst consensus estimate, on revenues of $2.8B-$2.9B, vs. $3.86B consensus and below its prior outlook of $3.8B-$4B, as it revises the sale timing for its California Flats and Moapa projects, which are now expected to be sold in 2017.
Wed, Nov. 2, 4:08 PM
Tue, Nov. 1, 5:35 PM
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