First Solar Becomes Most Valuable Solar Company Amid Rivals’ Struggles, Up 13%
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First Solar Becomes Most Valuable Solar Company Amid Rivals’ Struggles, Up 13%

First Solar has become the most valuable solar company globally, with a market capitalization of $21.15 billion, surpassing its Chinese competitors.
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First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), a leading American solar panel manufacturer, has surpassed its competitors to become the most valuable solar company globally.

The company’s market capitalization reached an impressive $21.15 billion, overtaking China’s Sungrow Power Supply Co., which stood at $20.85 billion. This achievement comes amidst significant challenges Chinese solar firms face, including a price war and trade barriers imposed by the United States.

Chinese Rivals’ Struggles and US Trade Policies

Chinese solar companies, such as Longi Green Energy Technology Co., have been grappling with the effects of a fierce price war and US trade restrictions. Longi reported a net loss of $325 million in the first quarter of 2024, starkly contrasting its $562 million profit the previous year.

The Biden administration’s tariffs on Chinese solar products and support for domestic manufacturers through the Inflation Reduction Act have played a pivotal role in bolstering First Solar’s market position. These tariffs have led to US solar panel prices being nearly three times higher than the global average.

Despite First Solar’s growing market capitalization, its production capacity still lags behind its Chinese counterparts. In 2023, First Solar produced 12 gigawatts of panels, while Jinko Solar Co. produced 79 gigawatts. However, the company’s strong financial performance and favorable stock outlook have contributed to its rising value.

First Solar Stock Gains Over 13%

As of the latest update, First Solar’s stock price stands at $240.61, having experienced a remarkable 13.44% increase over the day so far. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $123.50 and $256.78. The company’s market cap is currently $22.70 billion, with a trailing P/E ratio of 22.23 and a forward P/E of 16.03. First Solar’s price-to-book ratio is 3.29.

Regarding financial performance, First Solar boasts a profit margin of 28.75%, a return on assets of 7.18%, and a return on equity of 16.05%. The company reported revenue of $3.56 billion and a net income of $1.02 billion over the last twelve months. The stock has delivered impressive returns, with a year-to-date return of 33.61%, a one-year return of 13.10%, and three- and five-year returns of 203.16% and 290.55%, respectively.

Analysts have set price targets for First Solar ranging from $157.56 to $356.00, with a consensus recommendation of “Strong Buy.” The next earnings report is expected between July 25, 2024, and July 30, 2024.

Key Upgrades for First Solar (FSLR)

First Solar has recently received several notable upgrades from major financial institutions. UBS Group raised its price target from $252.00 to $270.00 and maintained a “buy” rating, resulting in a 2.8% increase in First Solar’s share price on the day of the announcement. Barclays increased its target price from $227.00 to $228.00, with an “overweight” rating, while Mizuho upped its price objective from $196.00 to $209.00, issuing a “buy” rating.

Morgan Stanley raised its price target from $245.00 to $248.00, maintaining an “overweight” rating, and Oppenheimer lifted its price objective from $269.00 to $271.00, providing an “outperform” rating. Jefferies Financial Group increased its price objective from $209.50 to $211.00, with a “buy” rating.

Do you think FSLR is a solid stock to hold in 2024? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The author does not hold or have a position in any securities discussed in the article.