NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of First Solar (FSLR) were increasing in midday trading on Tuesday ahead of the company's 2016 third quarter earnings, due out after tomorrow's closing bell.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet are projecting GAAP earnings of 77 cents per share on revenue of $989.7 million.

During the same quarter last year, the Tempe, AZ-based solar energy solutions company reported GAAP earnings of $3.38 per diluted share on revenue of $1.27 billion.

Additionally, First Solar signed a power purchase agreement with electricity provider MCE today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement is for electricity generated from First Solar's project in Fresno County, CA. The project is expected to begin construction in 2019, with commission expected in 2020, according to a company statement.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C on First Solar stock.

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels.

But the team also finds weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: FSLR

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