Sunworks (NASDAQ: SUNW) and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, dividends, risk and analyst recommendations.

Volatility and Risk

Sunworks has a beta of 1.71, indicating that its stock price is 71% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Solar has a beta of 1.94, indicating that its stock price is 94% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Sunworks and First Solar’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sunworks $74.90 million 0.50 -$9.66 million N/A N/A
First Solar $2.57 billion 1.99 $296.64 million ($4.84) -10.14

First Solar has higher revenue and earnings than Sunworks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Sunworks and First Solar, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sunworks 0 2 1 0 2.33
First Solar 1 15 8 0 2.29

Sunworks currently has a consensus price target of $2.75, suggesting a potential upside of 64.67%. First Solar has a consensus price target of $44.37, suggesting a potential downside of 9.58%. Given Sunworks’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Sunworks is more favorable than First Solar.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

5.5% of Sunworks shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.3% of First Solar shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.6% of Sunworks shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of First Solar shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Sunworks and First Solar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sunworks -15.38% -54.74% -27.37%
First Solar -18.80% 6.43% 4.94%

Summary

First Solar beats Sunworks on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sunworks Company Profile

Sunworks, Inc., formerly Solar3D, Inc., provides photo voltaic (PV) based power systems for the residential, commercial and agricultural markets in California and Nevada. The Company, through its operating subsidiaries, designs, arranges financing, integrates, installs and manages systems ranging in size from 2 kilowatt (KW) for residential loads to multi megawatts (MW) systems for larger commercial projects. The Company’s commercial installations include office buildings, manufacturing plants, warehouses and agricultural facilities, such as farms, wineries and dairies. The Company provides a range of installation services to its solar energy customers, including design, system engineering, procurement, permitting, construction, grid connection, warranty, system monitoring and maintenance. The Company has installed over 850 systems in California and Nevada.

First Solar Company Profile

First Solar, Inc. is a provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The Company designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with a thin-film semiconductor technology. The Company also develops, designs, constructs and sells PV solar power systems that primarily use the modules it manufactures. It operates through two segments: components and systems. The components segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules, which convert sunlight into electricity. The systems segment includes the development, construction, operation and maintenance of PV solar power systems, which primarily use its solar modules. In addition, the Company provides operations and maintenance (O&M) services to system owners that use solar modules manufactured by it or by third-party manufacturers. The Company’s solar modules had an average rated power per module of approximately 114 watts, as of December 31, 2016.

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