First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) Sees Significant Decline in Short Interest

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) was the target of a significant drop in short interest in the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 5,581,064 shares, a drop of 48.1% from the September 15th total of 10,746,611 shares. Approximately 7.2% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 3,757,047 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.5 days.

In other First Solar news, CFO Alexander R. Bradley sold 566 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.66, for a total value of $27,541.56. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 963 shares in the company, valued at $46,859.58. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark R. Widmar sold 43,189 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.55, for a total transaction of $2,096,825.95. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 107,454 shares in the company, valued at $5,216,891.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 94,674 shares of company stock worth $4,655,846 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.58% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Bank of Nova Scotia acquired a new stake in First Solar in the first quarter valued at approximately $212,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its holdings in First Solar by 57.6% in the second quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 2,600 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 950 shares in the last quarter. Fiduciary Trust Co. acquired a new stake in First Solar in the second quarter valued at approximately $128,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc raised its holdings in First Solar by 23.9% in the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 5,050 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock valued at $201,000 after acquiring an additional 975 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parsec Financial Management Inc. acquired a new stake in First Solar in the second quarter valued at approximately $204,000. 53.08% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several research analysts have weighed in on FSLR shares. Cowen and Company set a $40.00 price target on shares of First Solar and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Axiom Securities restated a “buy” rating on shares of First Solar in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $50.00 to $65.00 in a research report on Friday, September 15th. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of First Solar in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of First Solar from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.61 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. First Solar currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.18.

Shares of First Solar (FSLR) opened at 47.11 on Friday. The company’s market cap is $4.92 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average is $47.70 and its 200-day moving average is $40.20. First Solar has a one year low of $25.56 and a one year high of $53.00.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The solar cell manufacturer reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.60. The firm had revenue of $623.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $591.55 million. First Solar had a negative net margin of 18.80% and a positive return on equity of 6.43%. The firm’s revenue was down 38.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.87 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that First Solar will post $2.11 EPS for the current year.

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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.

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