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What to Expect From First Solar (FSLR) in Q3 Earnings?

First Solar, Inc. FSLR is scheduled to report its third-quarter 2017 results after the market closes on Oct 26. Last quarter, the company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 1700.00%.

Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider

During the second-quarter earnings call, First Solar declared that it sold the Switch Station 1 and 2 solar projects to EDF Renewable Energy.  Majority of the payment related to it are anticipated to be received in the third quarter. This in turn must boost the company’s sales growth in the to-be-reported quarter.

Like other solar majors, SunPower Corp. SPWR, Renesola Ltd. SOL and Sunrun Inc. RUN, First Solar’s top line is also expected to be driven by the booming solar market across the globe. In particular, countries like China, Japan and India are investing heavily in solar projects, consequently opening up multiple growth opportunities for the industry.

Cumulatively, these factors must result in enhanced quarterly sales growth for the company. Evidently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its third quarter sales stands at $789.8 million, reflecting annual growth of 16.1%.

However, President Trump’s walk out from the landmark Paris deal, apart from initiatives to repeal the Clean Power Plan and boosting coal production has kept the entire solar industry under immense pressure. This in turn may hamper First Solar’s bottom line. In line with this, our consensus estimate for the company’s third-quarter earnings of 85 cents reflects an annual decline of 30.2%.

First Solar, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

First Solar, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | First Solar, Inc. Quote

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that First Solar will beat estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) to be able to beat estimates. But that is not the case here, as you will see below.
    
Zacks ESP: First Solar has an Earnings ESP of -0.52%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter

Zacks Rank: First Solar’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Meanwhile, we caution against Sell-rated stocks (#4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Renesola Ltd. (SOL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SunPower Corporation (SPWR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Sunrun Inc. (RUN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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