First Solar Inc. FSLR reported first-quarter 2017 earnings of 25 cents a share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at a loss of 13 cents. The reported number declined 84.9% from the prior-year figure of $1.66.
First Solar’s revenues of $891.8 million in the quarter surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $699 million by 27.6%. Revenues also grew 1.8% from the year-ago figure of $876.1 million, primarily attributable to the sale of the Moapa project, partially offset by lower third-party module sales.
Gross profit in the reported quarter was $84.2 million, down from $277.6 million a year ago.
Total operating expenses contracted 5.6% to $92.2 million due to lower research and development and selling, general and administrative expenses.
Operating loss during the quarter was $8 million, in contrast to income of $179.9 million in the year-ago quarter.
First Solar, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
First Solar, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | First Solar, Inc. Quote
First Solar had $1,656.2 million of cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2017, up from $1,347.2 million at 2016-end.
Long-term debt was $265.8 million at the end of the first quarter, compared with $160.4 million as of Dec 31, 2016.
First Solar raised its revenue guidance to the band of $2.85–$2.95 billion from $$2.8–$2.9 billion. It has also lifted the gross margin guidance to 12.5–14.5% (11–13% guided earlier). The company reiterated the operating income guidance in the range of $40–$80 million. Meanwhile, the company raised its operating cash flow guidance to $350–$450 million, compared with $250–$350 million predicted earlier.
The company reaffirmed its panel shipment projection at the 2.4−2.6 gigawatts (“GW”) band.
Full-year earnings are now expected in the range of 25−75 cents per share, compared with the prior guidance of a breakeven to 50 cents.
Quarterly Results at 8point3 Energy
8point3 Energy Partners LP CAFD, a limited partnership formed by First Solar and SunPower Corp. SPWR, reported earnings of 3 cents per share in first-quarter fiscal 2017 (ended Feb 28). The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at a loss of 18 cents. Earnings declined 88.9% from 27 cents in the year-ago quarter.
An Upcoming Peer Release
Canadian Solar, Inc. CSIQ is expected to release first-quarter 2017 results on May 10. The company carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
First Solar presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?
Here's another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.
With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.
It's not the one you think.
See This Ticker Free >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
First Solar, Inc. (FSLR): Free Stock Analysis Report
SunPower Corporation (SPWR): Free Stock Analysis Report
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ): Free Stock Analysis Report
8point3 Energy Partners LP (CAFD): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research