Stock traders are buying a high volume of early solar call options (NASDAQ:FSLR)

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR – Get Rating) saw unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Investors bought 20,890 call options on the stock. This is a 62% increase from the average volume of 12,856 call options.

Analyst upgrades and downgrades

FSLR has been the subject of several analyst reports. Bank of America cut shares of First Solar from an “underperforming” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised its price target for the company from $63.00 to $104.50 in a report from the Monday, August 1. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded First Solar from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised its target price for the company from $83.00 to $126.00 in a Monday, August 8 research report . Credit Suisse Group cut its price target on shares of First Solar to $77.00 in a Monday, July 25 research report. Barclays assumed coverage for First Solar shares in a report on Friday, August 5. They issued an “underweight” rating and a price target of $89.00 for the company. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised his price target on First Solar from $98.00 to $119.00 in a Friday, July 29 research report. Three analysts have assigned the stock a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $106.08.

First solar stock up 0.4%

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Shares of FSLR rose $0.53 in midday trading Thursday, hitting $118.97. 43,739 shares of the company have traded, compared to its average volume of 3,256,155. The company has a current ratio of 4.21, a quick ratio of 3.20 and a leverage ratio of 0.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 67.30, a growth price-to-earnings ratio of 208.42 and a beta of 1.49. First Solar has a 1-year low of $59.60 and a 1-year high of $123.13. The company’s fifty-day moving average is $85.22 and its 200-day moving average is $77.24.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, July 28. The solar cell maker reported EPS of $0.52 for the quarter, missing analyst consensus estimates of $0.61 per ($0.09). First Solar had a net margin of 7.63% and a return on equity of 3.21%. The company posted revenue of $621.00 million in the quarter, compared to $606.45 million expected by analysts. In the same quarter last year, the company posted earnings per share of $0.77. The company’s quarterly revenue decreased 1.3% from the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect First Solar to post earnings per share of 0.08 for the current year.

Insider Activity at First Solar

In other First Solar news, CAO Byron Michael Jeffers sold 259 shares of First Solar in a trade dated Monday, August 1. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.00, for a total value of $25,900.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 1,137 shares of the company, valued at $113,700. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via this link. In other First Solar news, R Director Craig Kennedy sold 600 shares of the company in a trade dated Wednesday, June 15. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.50, for a total transaction of $37,500.00. Following the transaction, the administrator now owns 20,397 shares of the company, valued at approximately $1,274,812.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available via this hyperlink. Additionally, CAO Byron Michael Jeffers sold 259 shares of First Solar in a trade that took place on Monday, August 1. The stock was sold at an average price of $100.00, for a total transaction of $25,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the accounting director now owns 1,137 shares of the company, valued at $113,700. The disclosure of this sale can be found here. In the past ninety days, insiders have sold 49,483 shares of the company valued at $4,397,255. 0.54% of the shares are held by insiders.

First Solar Institutional Negotiation

A number of institutional investors have been buying and selling stocks recently. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. acquired a new stake in First Solar in the fourth quarter worth approximately $26,000. South Dakota’s Sageworth Trust Co bought a new stake in First Solar stock in Q4 for $29,000. Ellevest Inc. increased its stake in First Solar shares by 53.3% in the 1st quarter. Ellevest Inc. now owns 374 shares of the solar cell maker valued at $31,000 after acquiring 130 more shares in the last quarter. Covestor Ltd increased its equity stake in First Solar to 97.7% during the first quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 421 shares of the solar cell maker worth $35,000 after buying 208 more shares in the last quarter. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in First Solar during the second quarter at a value of $32,000. 75.42% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Profile of the first solar company

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First Solar, Inc provides photovoltaic (PV) solar power solutions in the United States, Japan, France, Canada, India, Australia and internationally. The company designs, manufactures and sells cadmium telluride solar modules that convert sunlight into electricity. It serves system developers and operators, utilities, independent power producers, commercial and industrial companies, and other system owners.

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