What's the outlook for First Solar's (FSLR) first-quarter earnings?


First Solar FSLR is scheduled to release first-quarter 2024 results after the market close on May 1.

In its last reported quarter, the company's earnings unexpectedly grew by 1.88%. First Solar's average earnings surprise over the past four quarters was 14.16%.

Factors to note

The company's overall revenue in the first quarter may also have been boosted by an increase in its module sales, particularly an increase in net sales of its 7-series modules, as well as increased productivity at FSLR's new Ohio facility. An increase in the average selling price per watt (ASP) will certainly benefit the company's top line as well.

First Solar, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

First Solar, Inc. Price and EPS SurpriseFirst Solar, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

First Solar, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

First Solar, Inc. Price-eps-Surprise | 2020 First Solar, Inc. Quote

However, a decline in operating income from FSLR's remaining businesses (mainly related to the sale of FSLR's Luz del Norte project in 2022) may have some adverse effects on its overall revenue results.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for FSLR's first-quarter revenue is pegged at $746.5 million, which would represent growth of 36.1% from the year-ago reported figure.

Strong top-line results, coupled with lower sales freight rates and continued module cost reductions, are likely to boost First Solar's top-line results. In December 2023, the company reached an agreement with Pfizer for approximately $687 million in 2023 Section 45X tax credit sales. This is also expected to help the company's quarterly earnings.

However, increased production costs associated with increased manufacturing facility productivity may have some adverse impact on FSLR's overall earnings in the first quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for First Solar's first-quarter earnings is pegged at $2.03 per share, which would represent a massive jump of 407.5% from the prior year's reported figure of 40 cents.

The company is expected to receive a total of $659 million in cash proceeds from its agreement with Pfizer, of which $336 million was initially received in January 2024. Increased flows from its cash-earning operating activities should be reflected when the company releases quarterly results on May 1.

What the Zacks Model Reveals

Our proven model does not conclusively predict that FSLR will beat earnings expectations this time around. The combination of a positive Profit ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy), or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of earnings beating expectations, but that's not the case here.

Earnings ESP: The company’s profit ESP is -5.04%. You can discover the best stocks to buy or sell before they report with our Earnings ESP filter.

Zack Ranking: First Solar currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.you can see The complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks is here.

Stocks worth considering

Here are three companies in the solar industry that you might want to consider because they have the right combination of elements to post earnings beyond this reporting cycle.

Canadian Solar CSIQ currently has an Earnings ESP of +29.52% and a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CSIQ's first-quarter sales is pegged at $1.28 billion.

The consensus estimate for first-quarter earnings was for a loss of 26 cents per share. The stock's average profit in the fourth quarter exceeded expectations by 56.24%.

next tracker NXT currently has an Earnings ESP of +23.75% and a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for NXT's first-quarter sales is pegged at $681.8 million, which would represent growth of 31.5% from the year-ago quarter's reported figure.

The company's consensus for first-quarter earnings is pegged at 60 cents per share, which would represent an increase of 185.7% from the year-ago reported figure. NXT's average profit surprise for the four seasons was 56.26%.

Shangrun RUN currently has an Earnings ESP of +19.46% and a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Sunrun's first-quarter sales is pegged at $478.8 million.

The consensus estimate for first-quarter earnings is for a loss of 50 cents per share, which would represent a significant improvement from the $1.12 loss reported in the same period last year.

Stay up to date with upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.

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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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