First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) is one of 11 public companies in the “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare First Solar to related businesses based on the strength of its profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, valuation and risk.

Profitability

This table compares First Solar and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First Solar -14.70% 8.07% 6.30%
First Solar Competitors -11.98% -119.61% -2.27%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares First Solar and its peers revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
First Solar $2.95 billion -$357.96 million -14.47
First Solar Competitors $1.32 billion -$58.64 million 1.10

First Solar has higher revenue, but lower earnings than its peers. First Solar is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for First Solar and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First Solar 1 10 9 0 2.40
First Solar Competitors 175 582 854 56 2.47

First Solar presently has a consensus target price of $46.72, indicating a potential downside of 22.37%. As a group, “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies have a potential downside of 7.21%. Given First Solar’s peers stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe First Solar has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

53.6% of First Solar shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.3% of shares of all “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of First Solar shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 16.2% of shares of all “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

First Solar has a beta of 1.99, suggesting that its stock price is 99% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Solar’s peers have a beta of 1.46, suggesting that their average stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

First Solar peers beat First Solar on 7 of the 13 factors compared.

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. It operates through two segments: components and systems. The components segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules, which convert sunlight into electricity. The systems segment includes the development, construction, operation and maintenance of PV solar power systems, which primarily use its solar modules. In addition, the Company provides operations and maintenance (O&M) services to system owners that use solar modules manufactured by it or by third-party manufacturers. The Company’s solar modules had an average rated power per module of approximately 114 watts, as of December 31, 2016.

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