Trading Report: The First Solar Inc. (FSLR) Lowered to “Neutral” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The First Solar Inc. (FSLR) Lowered to “Neutral” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut shares of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $42.00 price objective on the solar cell manufacturer’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $58.00.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on FSLR. Standpoint Research reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of First Solar in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Janney Montgomery Scott reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $68.00 target price (down from $89.00) on shares of First Solar in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $56.00 target price on shares of First Solar in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Barclays PLC cut shares of First Solar from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, JMP Securities started coverage on shares of First Solar in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. They issued an underperform rating and a $32.00 target price for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $56.32.

Shares of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) opened at 38.28 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $37.47 and a 200-day moving average of $47.53. First Solar has a 12 month low of $33.74 and a 12 month high of $74.29. The company has a market capitalization of $3.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 5.64 and a beta of 1.54.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The solar cell manufacturer reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by $0.32. The business had revenue of $934.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $862.68 million. First Solar had a net margin of 17.45% and a return on equity of 13.78%. The company’s revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.93 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that First Solar will post $4.25 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director James Alton Hughes sold 180,448 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.43, for a total transaction of $8,017,304.64. Following the sale, the director now owns 201,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,956,066.11. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Georges Antoun sold 133,761 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.54, for a total transaction of $5,957,714.94. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 151,471 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,746,518.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FSLR. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in First Solar by 0.5% in the third quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 7,812 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $308,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the last quarter. Deane Retirement Strategies Inc. acquired a new stake in First Solar during the third quarter worth about $1,554,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in First Solar by 22.3% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 75,303 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $2,974,000 after buying an additional 13,731 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in First Solar during the second quarter worth about $316,000. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC increased its stake in First Solar by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 2,924 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. 57.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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