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First Solar (FSLR) to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR - Free Report) is scheduled to release third-quarter 2019 results on Oct 24, after market close.

In the last reported quarter, the company witnessed a negative earnings surprise of 1,000%. Furthermore, it has average four-quarter miss of 348.94%.

Factors at Play

First Solar is encouraged by the continued strong market demand for its Series 6 module technology. To address this increasing demand, First Solar started production of Series 6 modules in its fourth factory in January and further ramped up production.

Considering the company’s capacity expansion for this product, solid shipments of these modules are likely to have boosted the top line in the third quarter. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for First Solar’s third-quarter revenues is pegged at $990.1 million, indicating a 46.4% surge from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

During the second-quarter earnings call, management anticipated Series 6 per watt cost to decline approximately 30% by the fourth quarter. As a result, we expect the decreasing cost to have favorably impacted the company's bottom line in the to-be-reported quarter.

Moreover, driven by lower ramp-up expenses and cost per watt for the Series 6 modules, First Solar has been witnessing improved gross margins lately. Assuming that such a trend has continued during the third quarter, the company’s bottom line is likely to reflect growth.

In line with this, the consensus mark for First Solar’s third-quarter earnings pegged at $1.12 indicates a 107.4% surge from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for First Solar this season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

First Solar has an Earnings ESP of +23.79% and a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

First Solar, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Upcoming Solar Releases

Enphase Energy (ENPH - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank #3 and is scheduled to report third-quarter 2019 results on Oct 29. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Azure Power Global Ltd (AZRE - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank #3 and is expected to post second-quarter fiscal 2020 results soon.

SunPower Corporation (SPWR - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank #3 and is scheduled to release third-quarter 2019 results on Oct 29.

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