Roth Capital Affirms First Solar (FSLR) at 'Neutral' Amid Transition, Guidance Update
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The firm offered the overall thoughts on Thursday:
With the collapse of module pricing, FSLR was forced to make a tough decision: Cancel its Series 5 product and go straight to Series 6. Management is accelerating its Series 6 rollout, but it'll still take 1.5 years. In the meantime, Series 4 may be only marginally competitive given how low ASPs have gotten. Overall, the company ratcheted down 2017 earnings expectations. In our guidance call preview, we had talked about the 2017 buy-side EPS being closer to $1 or even sub $1 vs. sell-side consensus at $1.96 and our estimate of $1.55. Management delivered non-GAAP EPS guidance of 0-50c. Given this long period of transition, we expect to see shares tradeoff sharply as investors may not have the patience to wait for Series 6, despite its technology benefits and leadership.
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