First Solar jumps 12% after massive earnings beat, 70% sales increase


First Solar Inc.

Source: First Solar

Shares of First Solar surged more than 12% in extended trading on Tuesday after the company said that sales jumped 70% year over year during the third quarter.

The solar panel manufacturer handily beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom line, earning $1.45 per share on $928 million in revenue. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected the company to earn 63 cents per share on $676.5 million in revenue. In the same quarter a year ago, the company earned 29 cents per share, on $546.8 million in revenue.

The company also reinstated its full-year guidance, which it previously withdrew on May 7 amid uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For 2020 First Solar expects to earn between $2.6 billion and $2.9 billion.

Revenue jumped 44.5% quarter over quarter primarily due to international project sales as well as an increase in the volume of modules sold to third parties, the company said in a statement.

Shares of First Solar are up 47% this year.

“We expect FSLR to benefit from the geographic dispersion of utility-scale solar demand in the U.S.,” UBS said in a note to clients on Tuesday ahead of the report. “FSLR has continued to expand its order backlog giving rare earnings visibility into 2021,” the firm, which has a buy rating on the stock, added. The firm’s call came as it downgraded other players in the renewable energy sphere, including JinkoSolar, SolarEdge, Sunrun and SunPower.

On the flip side, Credit Suisse downgraded First Solar to an underperform rating on Monday ahead of the earnings report based on valuation concerns.

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