First Solar (FSLR) vs. Its Rivals Head-To-Head Analysis

First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) is one of 11 publicly-traded companies in the “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” industry, but how does it compare to its rivals? We will compare First Solar to similar companies based on the strength of its profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends and risk.

Profitability

This table compares First Solar and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First Solar -14.70% 8.07% 6.30%
First Solar Competitors -12.75% -121.72% -3.35%

Volatility & Risk

First Solar has a beta of 1.99, suggesting that its stock price is 99% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Solar’s rivals have a beta of 1.50, suggesting that their average stock price is 50% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

53.6% of First Solar shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.3% of shares of all “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of First Solar shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 16.0% of shares of all “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for First Solar and its rivals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First Solar 0 6 3 0 2.33
First Solar Competitors 174 582 853 56 2.48

First Solar currently has a consensus price target of $48.08, suggesting a potential downside of 21.54%. As a group, “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies have a potential downside of 9.87%. Given First Solar’s rivals stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe First Solar has less favorable growth aspects than its rivals.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares First Solar and its rivals top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
First Solar $2.95 billion -$357.96 million -13.99
First Solar Competitors $1.32 billion -$58.64 million 0.18

First Solar has higher revenue, but lower earnings than its rivals. First Solar is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Summary

First Solar rivals beat First Solar on 7 of the 13 factors compared.

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. It operates through two segments: components and systems. The components segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules, which convert sunlight into electricity. The systems segment includes the development, construction, operation and maintenance of PV solar power systems, which primarily use its solar modules. In addition, the Company provides operations and maintenance (O&M) services to system owners that use solar modules manufactured by it or by third-party manufacturers. The Company’s solar modules had an average rated power per module of approximately 114 watts, as of December 31, 2016.

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