The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Technology company by 20.51% to 11.24 million shares with purchase of 1.91 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 10.55% valued currently at $1.9 billion. In addition, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.98 million to 4.09 million shares. And Invesco Capital Management LLC has lifted its position by 23.68% or 0.54 million shares – to 2.84 million shares.
With over 3.13 million First Solar Inc. (FSLR) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $203.58 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $636.3 million. The shares have shown a positive half year performance of 49.89% and its price on 03/13/23 lost nearly -2.00%. Currently, there are 106.61M common shares owned by the public and among those 101.07M shares have been available to trade.
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An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 27 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for FSLR have a consensus price objective of $203.22. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $260.00 and a low of $46.80. The average price target is -3.59% below its recent price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -335.0% over that period. But an upside of 21.7% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $206.50.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 80 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 51 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 33,504 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 29 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 79,166 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in First Solar Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, and Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 3.11 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $525.23 million. The company bought an additional 27530.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.91% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund bought 14338.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 2.62 million shares valued at over $443.81 million and representing 2.46% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund bought 5427.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 2.3 million shares at a value of $388.57 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.15% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) opened at $204.60, down -$3.13 from a prior closing price of $207.73. However, the script later moved the day high at 209.23, down -2.00%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -4.11% and 33.31% over the past three months. FSLR shares are trading 35.91% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 166.12% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $59.60 and touched a high of $218.25 over the same period. FSLR has an average intraday trading volume of 2.82 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 11.59%, 17.85%, and 55.60% respectively.
Institutional ownership of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) shares accounts for 83.10% of the company’s 106.61M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 39.08%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 54.08% and 29.08% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $22.07B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.36. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$0.42. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 3.43% over the week and 3.99% over the month.
Analysts forecast that First Solar Inc. (FSLR) will achieve an EPS of -$0.16 for the current quarter, $0.61 for the next quarter and $5.05 for 2023. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.36 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.19. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.23 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -109.50%, and 78.92% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 5.64% over the next five years, compared to -16.80% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 27 brokerage firm advisors rate First Solar Inc. (FSLR) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.20. Specifically, 14 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 10 of the 27 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the FSLR, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. UBS stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on March 03, 2023, with the firm’s price target at $140-$250. Evercore ISI coverage for the First Solar Inc. (FSLR) stock in a research note released on February 14, 2023 offered a In-line rating with a price target of $157. BofA Securities was of a view on February 02, 2023 that the stock is Neutral, while Wells Fargo gave the stock Overweight rating on January 06, 2023, issuing a price target of $146- $188. Daiwa Securities on their part issued Outperform rating on December 23, 2022.
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