First Solar (FSLR) Smashes Estimates, Raises Guidance, Up 7% AH

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05:57:59 pm on April 28, 2010

First Solar (FSLR) is a company that many like to bash and bet against, but the company continues to deliver and they did so again after the bell today, keeping their long history of quarter over quarter growth alive (just barely).  The company smashed the analyst estimate of $1.65/share by posting $2.00/share which also beats the whisper number of $1.87.  That $2.00 EPS is about what they reported a year ago, so quarter over quarter growth isn’t great, but anytime you smash estimates like that the stock is going to pop.  Revenue growth remains strong with a 36% quarter over quarter bump to $568 million which beat expectations by about $20 million.

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The company is raising guidance as well.  They now expect 2010 EPS in the $6.80 – $7.30 range  vs the Wall St consensus of $6.12.  However, revenue estimates are a bit shy of the Wall St consensus.  They see revenues in the $2.6 – $2.7 billion range vs $2.74 for the Street.

On the capacity side, the company’s Board of Directors has approved an additional four line manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 220MW, but it isn’t expected to begin production at the plant for over a year.

All in all, not a world beating quarter, but much better than expected. For a stock that has been basing for nearly two years now and recently emerging from a down trend, it should be enough to keep the stock moving up the right side of a new base.  That is, unless the overall market completely falls apart.  The stock is up about 7% in after hours trading and surging back above the 200 day moving average.

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