Why First Solar (FSLR) Is Plummeting on Wednesday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- First Solar (FSLR) is plummeting on Wednesday after fourth-quarter earnings and sales came in below expectations.

Shares were down 10.4% to $51.99 by midmorning.

The company which specializes in solar equipment recorded revenue of $768 million, 28.9% lower than a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected total sales of $965.4 million.

Lower sales was attributed to decreased systems business project revenues as sales for Desert Sunlight and ABW projects were achieved in the third quarter.

The Tempe, Arizona-based business posted per-share earnings of 89 cents, which fell short of consensus by 10 cents a share.

For its first quarter ending March, management guided for net income between 50 cents and 60 cents a share, well below analyst consensus of 84 cents a share. Net sales are expected between $800 million and $900 million, in line with a forecasted $898.25 million.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates FIRST SOLAR INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FIRST SOLAR INC (FSLR) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall."

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