Do Its Financials Have Any Role To Play In Driving First Solar, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:FSLR) Stock Up Recently?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 24, 2021
NasdaqGS:FSLR
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First Solar's (NASDAQ:FSLR) stock is up by a considerable 14% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Specifically, we decided to study First Solar's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for First Solar

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for First Solar is:

7.8% = US$453m ÷ US$5.8b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.08 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

First Solar's Earnings Growth And 7.8% ROE

On the face of it, First Solar's ROE is not much to talk about. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 16%. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that First Solar grew its net income at a significant rate of 57% in the last five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that First Solar's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 15% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:FSLR Past Earnings Growth November 24th 2021

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for FSLR? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is First Solar Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Given that First Solar doesn't pay any dividend to its shareholders, we infer that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business.

Summary

In total, it does look like First Solar has some positive aspects to its business. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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Simply Wall St

Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.