NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Ascent Solar Technologies (ASTI) are surging in afternoon trading today, up 33.06% to $1.65, after the company reported preliminary 2014 full year revenue increased 308% from a year ago.
The Thornton, CO-based company said preliminary revenue for the year was $5.3 million, up 308% from $1.3 million a year ago. Product revenue was $5 million, up 355% from $1.1 million in 2013. The only analyst estimate recorded by Reuters predicted revenue of $5.5 million for 2014.
The company also reported preliminary fourth quarter revenue of $2.4 million, a 118% increase from the previous quarter of $1.1 million and an approximately four-fold increase over the revenue of $600,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013.
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Ascent Solar Technologies develops flexible photovoltaic (PV) modules used in a variety of electronic products, building materials, defense, transportation and space applications, as well as other consumer products.
"We are extremely encouraged by the rapid growth of [our consumer solar products brand] EnerPlex, and we expect to see sales continue to grow rapidly as we continue to expand our distribution channels domestically and internationally. In the fourth quarter, we also experienced growing acceptance in our focused high-value PV market, which we believe will add to our top-line growth in 2015," CEO Victor Lee said.
The stock is trading on heavy volume today with more than 5.75 million shares changing hands by 2:12 p.m in New York, compared to the average of 577,072.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES as a Sell with a ratings score of D-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES (ASTI) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- 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 88.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$6.48 million to -$12.25 million.
- Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$8.06 million or 61.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -78.32%.
- ASTI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 85.58%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
- ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES has improved earnings per share by 42.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES reported poor results of -$6.70 versus -$6.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$3.60 versus -$6.70).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: ASTI Ratings Report