Let's talk about the popular First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). The company's shares saw a significant share price rise of over 20% in the past couple of months on the NASDAQGS. With many analysts covering the large-cap stock, we may expect any price-sensitive announcements have already been factored into the stock’s share price. But what if there is still an opportunity to buy? Today I will analyse the most recent data on First Solar’s outlook and valuation to see if the opportunity still exists.
What is First Solar worth?
First Solar is currently expensive based on my price multiple model, where I look at the company's price-to-earnings ratio in comparison to the industry average. I’ve used the price-to-earnings ratio in this instance because there’s not enough visibility to forecast its cash flows. The stock’s ratio of 48.5x is currently well-above the industry average of 39.51x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. If you like the stock, you may want to keep an eye out for a potential price decline in the future. Given that First Solar’s share is fairly volatile (i.e. its price movements are magnified relative to the rest of the market) this could mean the price can sink lower, giving us another chance to buy in the future. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for share price volatility.
Can we expect growth from First Solar?
Investors looking for growth in their portfolio may want to consider the prospects of a company before buying its shares. Buying a great company with a robust outlook at a cheap price is always a good investment, so let’s also take a look at the company's future expectations. With profit expected to grow by 54% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for First Solar. It looks like higher cash flow is on the cards for the stock, which should feed into a higher share valuation.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? It seems like the market has well and truly priced in FSLR’s positive outlook, with shares trading above industry price multiples. However, this brings up another question – is now the right time to sell? If you believe FSLR should trade below its current price, selling high and buying it back up again when its price falls towards the industry PE ratio can be profitable. But before you make this decision, take a look at whether its fundamentals have changed.
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on FSLR for a while, now may not be the best time to enter into the stock. The price has surpassed its industry peers, which means it is likely that there is no more upside from mispricing. However, the positive outlook is encouraging for FSLR, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors in order to take advantage of the next price drop.
With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. Our analysis shows 4 warning signs for First Solar (1 is a bit concerning!) and we strongly recommend you look at them before investing.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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