First Solar, Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 3, 2012. First Solar designs and manufactures solar electric power modules using a proprietary thin film semiconductor technology.

First Solar, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 48 cents per share, a decline of 63.9% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 69 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 49 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 34.1% compared to last year’s $3.96.

Past Earnings Performance: For the past three quarters, the company’s quarterly results have come in below analyst’s expectations. Last quarter, the company reported profit of $1.26 per share versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.57 per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $688.2 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 21.3% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $3.52 billion for the year, a rise of 27.1% from last year’s revenue of $2.77 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about First Solar with 19 of 27 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company swung to a loss of $413.1 million ($4.75 a share) from a profit of $155.9 million ($1.80) a year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 8.3% to $660.4 million from $609.8 million.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on two-straight revenue increases with this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 26.1% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before climbing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 1, 2012 and April 27, 2012, the stock price fell $24.33 (-57%), from $42.68 to $18.35. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 31, 2012 and February 7, 2012, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 10.2% (+$4.31) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between March 29, 2012 and April 9, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 19.6% (-$4.93) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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