The stock closed down $8.96 (5.44%) at $155.72 and is trading lower in very early after-hours action (-7 cents).
Once again Tech Trader Daily leads the way:
Shares of solar energy technology maker First Solar (FSLR) are down $9.26, or almost 6%, at $155.42 after the company last night reported Q4 revenue below analysts’ estimates and cut the top end of its year revenue view while raising its year profit estimate.He's got Dan Ries, Collins Stewart in the bullish camp and Gordon Johnson, Axiom Capital; Timothy Arcuri, Citigroup and Aaron Chew, Hapoalim Securities as bearish.
The bulls today are inclined to look past the revenue miss, and they are heartened by improvements on cost and efficiency, with the company’s gross profit margin as a percentage of sales having risen a full 8.4 percentage points to 48.7% despite the 24% drop in sales.
Robert Stone, Cowen & Co.: Reiterates an Outperform rating. The company’s project pipeline of 2.4 gigawatts has grown more diverse and is “a buffer against FIT policy changes,” he writes, referring to the subsidies that have helped fund solar projects in various countries. In particular, North America should be 25% to 30% of 2011′s shipment total, up from just 18% last year. Stone raised his 2011, 2012, and 2013 EPS estimates to $9.65, $12.50 and $17, despite cutting his 2011 revenue estimate to $3.75 billion from $3.83 billion.
Stephen Chin, UBS: Reiterates a Buy recommendation and a $180 price target. The Q4 sales shortfall he believes came from the company’s decision to swap out some “non-conforming” solar modules from customer cites, and “isolated” delays in Ontario, Canada and in the U.S. He notes the improvement in manufacturing efficiency, with First Solar’s module cost dropping by 3% to 75 cents per watt, and with its module efficiency rising 0.3 percentage points to 11.6%....MORE
Axiom's $62.36 remains the lowest price target while Hapoalim maintained his sell but raised his target from $110 to $125. That followed the firing of the prior analyst and his $65 target.
RBC maintained their outperform and raised the PT from $160 to $190.
Raised to $190 from $180 at Susquehanna
Bachman at Auriga maintained his hold and $167 target, he has had a pretty good feel for the stock
Jeffries lowered their PT from $164 to $160 and provided some color.
Citi also had some color while maintaining their Hold and $150 target.
Barclays maintains an 'Equalweight' on First Solar PT $144.
Finally Goldman Sachs has maintained their 'Conviction Buy' and raised their target to $190 from $165.
Here's the chart via BigCharts.
Note the Feb. 2 shoulder and Feb 17 head. Perhaps one more run to $165?: