Equities research analysts at Piper Jaffray Cos. started coverage on shares of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm set a “neutral” rating on the solar cell manufacturer’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also commented on FSLR. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “hold” rating on shares of First Solar in a report on Monday, June 27th. Vetr lowered First Solar from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Deutsche Bank AG lowered First Solar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $80.00 to $44.00 in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 target price (down from $68.00) on shares of First Solar in a report on Friday, July 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $59.00 target price on First Solar and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.83.

Analyst Recommendations for First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) opened at 37.58 on Monday. First Solar has a 12-month low of $33.74 and a 12-month high of $74.29. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $37.43 and a 200-day moving average of $48.12. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.53 and a beta of 1.54.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The solar cell manufacturer reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by $0.32. The company had revenue of $934.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $862.68 million. First Solar had a return on equity of 13.78% and a net margin of 17.45%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.93 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that First Solar will post $4.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO Philip Dejong sold 67,251 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.28, for a total value of $2,977,874.28. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 45,499 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,014,695.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director James Alton Hughes sold 180,448 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.43, for a total value of $8,017,304.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 201,577 shares in the company, valued at $8,956,066.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of FSLR. Capital World Investors increased its position in shares of First Solar by 43.8% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 2,875,000 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $139,380,000 after buying an additional 875,000 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of First Solar by 50.9% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 2,130,033 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $103,264,000 after buying an additional 718,308 shares in the last quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of First Solar by 763.9% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 675,710 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $32,758,000 after buying an additional 597,490 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of First Solar by 25.2% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,534,789 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $122,884,000 after buying an additional 509,527 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Solar during the first quarter valued at approximately $32,345,000. 57.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About First Solar

First Solar, Inc is a provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The Company designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with thin-film semiconductor technology, and also develops, designs, constructs and sells PV solar power solutions. The Company operates through two segments: components and systems.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:FSLR

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