First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders acquired 15,980 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 473% compared to the average volume of 2,790 put options.

FSLR has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. JMP Securities upgraded shares of First Solar from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 price target (up previously from $36.00) on shares of First Solar in a report on Sunday, May 28th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of First Solar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Solar from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.56.

In other news, CFO Alexander R. Bradley sold 566 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.66, for a total transaction of $27,541.56. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 963 shares in the company, valued at approximately $46,859.58. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Mark R. Widmar sold 43,189 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.55, for a total transaction of $2,096,825.95. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 107,454 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,216,891.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 95,909 shares of company stock worth $4,705,246 in the last 90 days. 0.58% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC increased its position in First Solar by 0.5% during the second quarter. Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC now owns 17,145 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $716,000 after acquiring an additional 80 shares during the period. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. increased its position in First Solar by 0.5% during the second quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 24,125 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $962,000 after acquiring an additional 125 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its position in First Solar by 1.1% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 15,100 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $602,000 after acquiring an additional 165 shares during the period. Intellectus Partners LLC increased its position in First Solar by 1.2% during the second quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 17,450 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $696,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, Amalgamated Bank increased its position in First Solar by 1.9% during the first quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 12,030 shares of the solar cell manufacturer’s stock worth $326,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the period. 53.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) opened at 48.85 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $47.85 and a 200-day moving average of $38.35. First Solar has a 52-week low of $25.56 and a 52-week high of $51.84. The firm’s market capitalization is $5.10 billion.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The solar cell manufacturer reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.04 by $0.60. First Solar had a negative net margin of 18.80% and a positive return on equity of 6.43%. The business had revenue of $623.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $591.55 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.87 earnings per share. First Solar’s revenue for the quarter was down 38.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that First Solar will post $2.12 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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About First Solar

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.

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