First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) shares shot up 2.9% on Thursday . The company traded as high as $47.58 and last traded at $47.52, with a volume of 918,977 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $46.20.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on FSLR. Vetr raised First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.01 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 price target (down previously from $68.00) on shares of First Solar in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded First Solar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price target for the company from $80.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of First Solar in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. assumed coverage on First Solar in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. They set a “market perform” rating and a $40.25 price objective on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Solar has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.98.

The firm has a market capitalization of $4.88 billion and a P/E ratio of 6.28. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $48.20 and its 200-day moving average price is $59.19.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The solar cell manufacturer reported $1.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.73. The business earned $848 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $962.87 million. The company’s revenue was up 80.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($0.62) EPS. Analysts predict that First Solar Inc. will post $4.28 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO James Alton Hughes sold 12,884 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.43, for a total value of $714,160.12. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 25,587 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,418,287.41. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink.

Several large investors have bought and sold shares of FSLR. Russell Frank Co raised its stake in First Solar by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 46,213 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $3,096,000 after buying an additional 2,214 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its stake in First Solar by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 103,300 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $6,817,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in First Solar by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 97,511 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $6,435,000 after buying an additional 2,322 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management acquired a new stake in First Solar during the fourth quarter worth $2,567,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in First Solar by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 250,238 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $16,513,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter.

First Solar, Inc is a provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The Company designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with thin-film semiconductor technology, and also develops, designs, constructs and sells PV solar power solutions. The Company operates through two segments: components and systems.

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