First Solar, Inc. (FSLR): Factors Lifting The Stock

solarKyle Anderson: Shares of First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) are up more than 17% today (Wednesday) after the company released its guidance figures for 2014, 2015, and 2016 at its annual “Analyst Day” meeting.

First Solar expects full-year revenue in 2014 between $3.7 billion and $4 billion, and earnings per share (EPS) between $2.20 and $2.60. This time last year, the company had projected EPS between $2.50 and $4 for 2014.

For 2015, the company expects revenue between $3.8 billion and $4.3 billion, which is on the low end of analysts’ estimates of $4.24 billion. FSLR projects 2015 EPS between $4.50 and $4.60, which is above the consensus estimate of $3.82.

The real growth is in First Solar’s 2016 guidance figures with a revenue range of $3.8 billion to $4.5 billion, up from a consensus projection of $3.87 billion.

FSLR stock traded as high as $70.99 today, following the guidance announcement. That was the highest share price for FSLR since September 2011.

Today’s stock surge shouldn’t be completely attributed to guidance figures, however. There were other factors sending FSLR higher…

Other Factors Lifting First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) Stock

First Solar also announced that it has partnered with General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE). The two companies will be developing a utility-sized solar power plant design that will combine FSLR’s solar modules and GE’s transformer systems.

In today’s announcement, the company described the partnership as a “significant step in establishing the next generation” of utility-scale solar power plants.

Earlier in the week, First Solar announced a 20-year power purchase agreement with the country of Jordan. FSLR will be constructing a 53-megawatt solar power plant in Jordan that will account for approximately 1% of the country’s total electricity generation.

First Solar focuses primarily on utility-sized solar projects. That separates it from some of its biggest competitors like SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY), which works mostly with residential power.

That’s what makes this week’s news even more encouraging. First Solar continues to solidify itself as a force in the utility-sized solar power market.

Following the spate of good news, here’s what investors should do with FSLR stock now.

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