First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR)’s share price rose 9.5% during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $76.61 and last traded at $76.27. Approximately 6,341,200 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 184% from the average daily volume of 2,234,137 shares. The stock had previously closed at $69.64.

FSLR has been the topic of several recent research reports. Deutsche Bank raised shares of First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $50.00 to $65.00 in a report on Friday, September 15th. Vetr lowered shares of First Solar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.80 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, September 18th. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of First Solar in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. JMP Securities reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 target price (down previously from $67.00) on shares of First Solar in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, October 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. First Solar has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $63.13.

The stock has a market cap of $7,670.00, a PE ratio of -18.33 and a beta of 2.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06, a quick ratio of 6.47 and a current ratio of 6.85.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The solar cell manufacturer reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $1.11. The business had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $859.22 million. First Solar had a negative net margin of 14.70% and a positive return on equity of 8.07%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 59.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.22 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that First Solar, Inc. will post 2.52 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Mark R. Widmar sold 20,270 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.40, for a total value of $1,305,388.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 100,754 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,488,557.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Philip Dejong sold 15,304 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.83, for a total transaction of $1,038,070.32. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 10,424 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $707,059.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 46,858 shares of company stock valued at $3,134,015 in the last three months. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Solar by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,545,727 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $261,043,000 after purchasing an additional 243,787 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in First Solar by 6.0% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,456,546 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $66,825,000 after acquiring an additional 82,634 shares during the period. Key Square Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in First Solar during the 3rd quarter valued at about $23,621,000. Ecofin Ltd. purchased a new position in First Solar during the 2nd quarter valued at about $19,485,000. Finally, Lord Abbett & CO. LLC purchased a new position in First Solar during the 2nd quarter valued at about $15,099,000. 50.87% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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 a thin-film semiconductor technology. The Company also develops, designs, constructs and sells PV solar power systems that primarily use the modules it manufactures.

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