Unusual Social Activity Around First Solar (FSLR) Today

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified First Solar ( FSLR) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified First Solar as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • FSLR has 10x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 80.88 mentions/day.
  • FSLR has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $439.5 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on FSLR:

First Solar, Inc. provides solar energy solutions. It operates in two segments, Components and Systems. The Components segment engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of solar modules that convert sunlight into electricity. FSLR has a PE ratio of 13.5. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate First Solar a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

The average volume for First Solar has been 4.9 million shares per day over the past 30 days. First Solar has a market cap of $5.0 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. The stock has a beta of 1.82 and a short float of 23.3% with 1.61 days to cover. Shares are up 63% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates First Solar as a hold. 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, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FSLR's share price has jumped by 132.10%, 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 0.06 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.05, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 38.07% is the gross profit margin for FIRST SOLAR INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, FSLR's net profit margin of 6.46% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $222.37 million or 48.10% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow FIRST SOLAR INC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -92.78%.
  • 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 69.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $110.98 million to $33.60 million.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
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