First Solar (FSLR) Reported Mixed Results, But Raised Guidance

I was out late last week, so wasn’t able to get a report on First Solar (FSLR) earnings out, but taking a look at it now, it wasn’t a great quarter, but not bad either.  The company reported mixed results beating on the EPS side, but missing on the revenue side.  First Solar reported an EPS of $1.80 (vs the estimate for $1.67) on revenues of $610 (analysts expected $647. 

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They did raise their full year 2011 guidance to a range of $9.25 to $9.75 and narrowed the revenue guidance to $3.7 – $3.8 billion.  They had previously estimated EPS at $8.75 – $9.50 and revenues at $3.7 – $3.9 billion.  Analysts estimated 2011 EPS to be $9.12 and revenues around $3.76 billion.

"In the fourth quarter the operations team executed well, and we sold 400 MW of projects in North America, positioning us to achieve our 2011 growth goals," said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. "We have good demand visibility in 2011 and a broader geographic reach, which gives us confidence in our ability to sell the 2 GW that we plan to produce."

Given the run that FSLR had, it’s no surprise that shares have been back filling and the earnings report wasn’t strong enough to keep that from happening.  In my opinion, this pull back is healthy and necessary and the stock will offer a 2nd chance opportunity to get in around where it broke out in January.  I’m watching key support of the 50 day moving average around the $147 area.  A test and hold there, would offer a nice entry point.

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