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ETFs to Gain on First Solar Q3 Earnings Beat

Leading U.S. solar-panel manufacturer First Solar FSLR reported third-quarter 2017 results after the closing bell yesterday. The company beat our estimates on earnings and revenues and raised its earnings outlook for the year.

Earnings per share came in at $1.95, which easily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 85 cents and improved from the year-ago earnings of 50 cents. Revenues jumped 59.5% year over year to $1.1 billion and edged past our estimate of $824 million. Robust results were driven by record module sales bookings and strong earnings resulting from the sale of its California Flats and Cuyama projects (see: all the Alternative Energy ETFs).

For 2017, the company continues to expect revenues in the range of $3-$3.1 billion while raised the earnings per share guidance from $2.00-$2.50 to $2.40-$2.60. The new guidance is well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.22.

Shares of this thin-film solar PV maker rose 7% in after-market hours yesterday and 6% in pre-market trade today, at the time of writing. The stock currently has a Zacks #3 (Hold) with a solid Value Style Score of B (read: Will Trump Era Spell Trouble for Alternative Energy ETFs?). 

ETFs in Focus

Following the earnings beat, ETFs having larger allocations to this solar giant have been in focus and could make great plays over the coming days. Below we have highlighted them:

Guggenheim Solar ETF TAN

This ETF follows the MAC Global Solar Energy Index, holding 27 stocks in the basket. First Solar occupies the second position with 9.8% share. North American firms dominate the fund’s portfolio with nearly 42.6% share, followed by Hong Kong (28.7%). The product has amassed $384.8 million in its asset base and trades in solid volume of around 231,000 shares a day. It charges investors 71 bps in fees per year and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook.

VanEck Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF GEX

This ETF provides global exposure to stocks that are primarily engaged in the business of alternative energy by tracking the Ardour Global Index. The fund holds about 31 stocks in its basket with AUM of $84 million, while charging 62 bps in fees per year. Average daily volume is paltry for this fund at around 5,000 shares. First Solar occupies the fourth position in the basket with a 5.6% share. In terms of country exposure, the fund is skewed toward the United States with a 57.2% share followed by Denmark and China (read: Tesla to Drive These ETFs on Solid Outlook).

iShares Global Clean Energy ETF ICLN

This fund provides global exposure to 30 clean energy stocks, including solar, wind and other renewable sources, by tracking the S&P Global Clean Energy Index. Out of these, FSLR occupies the fifth spot at 5% of assets. It has amassed $118.9 million in its asset base while volume is also light at about 60,000 shares. China and United States take the top two spots in terms of country exposure with over 28% share each. The ETF charges 48 bps in annual fees and expenses.

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ISHARS-GL CL EN (ICLN): ETF Research Reports
GUGG-SOLAR (TAN): ETF Research Reports
VANECK-GLBL AE (GEX): ETF Research Reports
First Solar, Inc. (FSLR): Free Stock Analysis Report
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