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First Solar Inc (NAS:FSLR)
Piotroski F-Score
5 (As of Today)

Warning Sign:

Piotroski F-Score of 3 is low, which usually implies poor business operation.

The zones of discrimination were as such:

Good or high score = 7, 8, 9
Bad or low score = 0, 1, 2, 3

First Solar Inc has an F-score of 5 indicating the company's financial situation is typical for a stable company.

FSLR' s 10-Year Piotroski F-Score Range
Min: 2   Max: 7
Current: 5

2
7

During the past 13 years, the highest Piotroski F-Score of First Solar Inc was 7. The lowest was 2. And the median was 5.


Definition

How is the Piotroski F-Score calculated?

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their own currency.

This Year (Dec14) TTM:Last Year (Dec13) TTM:
Net Income was 112.007 + 4.528 + 88.424 + 191.959 = $397 Mil.
Cash Flow from Operations was -318.176 + 118.38 + -47.211 + 927.996 = $681 Mil.
Revenue was 950.158 + 544.353 + 889.31 + 1007.993 = $3,392 Mil.
Gross Profit was 236.711 + 92.725 + 189.287 + 308.382 = $827 Mil.
Average Total Assets from the begining of this year (Dec13)
to the end of this year (Dec14) was
(6883.502 + 6376.353 + 6612.015 + 6439.954 + 6724.439) / 5 = $6607.2526 Mil.
Total Assets at the begining of this year (Dec13) was $6,884 Mil.
Long-Term Debt was $165 Mil.
Total Current Assets was $3,190 Mil.
Total Current Liabilities was $1,001 Mil.
Net Income was 59.142 + 33.598 + 195.038 + 65.26 = $353 Mil.

Revenue was 755.205 + 519.76 + 1265.587 + 768.437 = $3,309 Mil.
Gross Profit was 169.326 + 140.098 + 364.034 + 189.296 = $863 Mil.
Average Total Assets from the begining of last year (Dec12)
to the end of last year (Dec13) was
(6348.692 + 6294.425 + 6868.126 + 6862.71 + 6883.502) / 5 = $6651.491 Mil.
Total Assets at the begining of last year (Dec12) was $6,349 Mil.
Long-Term Debt was $163 Mil.
Total Current Assets was $3,793 Mil.
Total Current Liabilities was $1,588 Mil.

Profitability

Question 1. Return on Assets (ROA)

Net income before extraordinary items for the year divided by total assets at the beginning of the year.

Score 1 if positive, 0 if negative.

First Solar Inc's current net income (TTM) was 397. ==> Positive ==> Score 1.

Question 2. Cash Flow Return on Assets (CFROA)

Net cash flow from operating activities (operating cash flow) divided by total assets at the beginning of the year.

Score 1 if positive, 0 if negative.

First Solar Inc's current cash flow from operations (TTM) was 681. ==> Positive ==> Score 1.

Question 3. Change in Return on Assets

Compare this year’s return on assets (1) to last year’s return on assets.

Score 1 if it’s higher, 0 if it’s lower.

ROA (This Year)=Net Income (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of This Year (Dec13)
=396.918/6883.502
=0.05766222

ROA (Last Year)=Net Income (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of Last Year (Dec12)
=353.038/6348.692
=0.05560799

First Solar Inc's return on assets of this year was 0.05766222. First Solar Inc's return on assets of last year was 0.05560799. ==> This year is higher. ==> Score 1.

Question 4. Quality of Earnings (Accrual)

Compare Cash flow return on assets (2) to return on assets (1)

Score 1 if CFROA > ROA, 0 if CFROA <= ROA.

First Solar Inc's current net income (TTM) was 397. First Solar Inc's current cash flow from operations (TTM) was 681. ==> 681 > 397 ==> CFROA > ROA ==> Score 1.

Funding

Question 5. Change in Gearing or Leverage

Compare this year’s gearing (long-term debt divided by average total assets) to last year’s gearing.

Score 0 if this year's gearing is higher, 1 otherwise.

Gearing (This Year: Dec14)=Long-Term Debt/Average Total Assets from Dec13 to Dec14
=165.003/6607.2526
=0.02497301

Gearing (Last Year: Dec13)=Long-Term Debt/Average Total Assets from Dec12 to Dec13
=162.78/6651.491
=0.02447271

First Solar Inc's gearing of this year was 0.02497301. First Solar Inc's gearing of last year was 0.02447271. ==> Last year is lower than this year ==> Score 0.

Question 6. Change in Working Capital (Liquidity)

Compare this year’s current ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities) to last year’s current ratio.

Score 1 if this year'’s current ratio is higher, 0 if it’s lower

Current Ratio (This Year: Dec14)=Total Current Assets/Total Current Liabilities
=3190.466/1001.096
=3.18697308

Current Ratio (Last Year: Dec13)=Total Current Assets/Total Current Liabilities
=3792.764/1588.061
=2.38829869

First Solar Inc's current ratio of this year was 3.18697308. First Solar Inc's current ratio of last year was 2.38829869. ==> This year's current ratio is higher. ==> Score 1.

Question 7. Change in Shares in Issue

Compare the number of shares in issue this year, to the number in issue last year.

Score 0 if there is larger number of shares in issue this year, 1 otherwise.

First Solar Inc's number of shares in issue this year was 101.5. First Solar Inc's number of shares in issue last year was 101.3. ==> There is larger number of shares in issue this year. ==> Score 0.

Efficiency

Question 8. Change in Gross Margin

Compare this year’s gross margin (gross profit divided by sales) to last year’s.

Score 1 if this year’s gross margin is higher, 0 if it’s lower.

Gross Margin (This Year: TTM)=Gross Profit/Revenue
=827.105/3391.814
=0.24385329

Gross Margin (Last Year: TTM)=Gross Profit/Revenue
=862.754/3308.989
=0.26073039

First Solar Inc's gross margin of this year was 0.24385329. First Solar Inc's gross margin of last year was 0.26073039. ==> Last year's gross margin is higher ==> Score 0.

Question 9. Change in asset turnover

Compare this year’s asset turnover (total sales for the year divided by total assets at the beginning of the year) to last year’s asset turnover ratio.

Score 1 if this year’s asset turnover ratio is higher, 0 if it’s lower

Asset Turnover (This Year)=Revenue (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of This Year (Dec13)
=3391.814/6883.502
=0.49274541

Asset Turnover (Last Year)=Revenue (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of Last Year (Dec12)
=3308.989/6348.692
=0.52120799

First Solar Inc's asset turnover of this year was 0.49274541. First Solar Inc's asset turnover of last year was 0.52120799. ==> Last year's asset turnover is higher ==> Score 0.

Evaluation

Piotroski F-Score= Que. 1+ Que. 2+ Que. 3+Que. 4+Que. 5+Que. 6+Que. 7+Que. 8+Que. 9
=1+1+1+1+0+1+0+0+0
=5

Good or high score = 7, 8, 9
Bad or low score = 0, 1, 2, 3

First Solar Inc has an F-score of 5 indicating the company's financial situation is typical for a stable company.


Explanation

The developer of the system is Joseph D. Piotroski is relatively unknown accounting professor who shuns publicity and rarely gives interviews.

He graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in accounting in 1989, received an M.B.A. from Indiana University in 1994. Five years later, in 1999, after earning a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Michigan, he became an associate professor of accounting at the University of Chicago.

In 2000, he wrote a research paper called "Value Investing: The Use of Historical Financial Statement Information to Separate Winners from Losers" (pdf).

He wanted to see if he can develop a system (using a simple nine-point scoring system) that can increase the returns of a strategy of investing in low price to book (referred to in the paper as high book to market) value companies.

What he found was something that exceeded his most optimistic expectations.

Buying only those companies that scored highest (8 or 9) on his nine-point scale, or F-Score as he called it, over the 20 year period from 1976 to 1996 led to an average out-performance over the market of 13.4%.

Even more impressive were the results of a strategy of investing in the highest F-Score companies (8 or 9) and shorting companies with the lowest F-Score (0 or 1).

Over the same period from 1976 to 1996 (20 years) this strategy led to an average yearly return of 23%, substantially outperforming the average S&P 500 index return of 15.83% over the same period.


Related Terms

Net Income, Cash Flow from Operations, Revenue, Gross Profit, Total Assets, Long-Term Debt, Total Current Assets, Total Current Liabilities


Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their own currency.

First Solar Inc Annual Data

Dec05Dec06Dec07Dec08Dec09Dec10Dec11Dec12Dec13Dec14
Question 1 111110011
Question 2 011110111
Question 3 110100011
Question 4 011111111
Question 5 110100111
Question 6 100100001
Question 7 000001000
Question 8 111000010
Question 9 101100000
F-score 665732366

First Solar Inc Quarterly Data

Sep12Dec12Mar13Jun13Sep13Dec13Mar14Jun14Sep14Dec14
Question 1 0011111111
Question 2 1111111101
Question 3 0011110001
Question 4 1111111001
Question 5 1111111110
Question 6 0000001111
Question 7 0000000000
Question 8 0000111000
Question 9 0010100000
F-score 3365766435
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