First Solar (FSLR) Beats With Record Numbers & Raises Guidance, But Shares Pressured

First Solar (FSLR) posted strong 3rd quarter results after the bell today beating analyst estimates as well as the whisper number of $2.10.  The expectations are always high for FSLR and the company delivered, but apparently it’s still not enough because the stock is down 5% in after hours  trading.  This is likely just a sell the news scenario after a healthy run in the past few months.

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The company posted a non GAAP EPS of $2.21/share on revenues of $798 million vs the analyst estimates of $1.94 and $779 million respectively.  EPS rose 23% over the year ago quarter while revenues surged 66%.  Just a real strong quarter and a new  record for the company for both EPS and revenues.

“We continue to execute on our growth strategy and to develop sustainable markets for solar electricity,” said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. “Our investment in research and development combined with plans to nearly double our manufacturing capacity will help us meet robust customer demand while continuing to drive down the cost of solar power.”

Looking ahead, the company sees sales of $2.58 – $2.61 billion for 2010 which is slightly above previous guidance of $2.5 – $2.6 billion.  They see EPS between $7.50 – $7.65 which is significantly above the previous guidance of $7.00 – $7.40. 

Shares of FSLR are down about 5% AH and may need to test support at the 50 day moving average around $140.  This is the key level.  A close below $140 and FSLR starts looking a bit more bearish, but I definitely think these numbers are more than strong enough to keep FSLR trading above the 50 day moving average.  Let’s see how analysts react tomorrow.

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