First Solar Inc. Stock Downgraded (FSLR)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 487.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $115.97 million to -$449.42 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, FIRST SOLAR INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRST SOLAR INC is rather low; currently it is at 15.40%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -90.40% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 86.59%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 490.97% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • FIRST SOLAR INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIRST SOLAR INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.50 versus $7.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.00 versus -$0.50).
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First Solar, Inc. engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of solar modules using a thin-film semiconductor technology in the United States and internationally. The company is also involved in the design, construction, and sale of photovoltaic solar power systems. First Solar has a market cap of $1.58 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are down 46.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full First Solar Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff
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