The stock of First Solar (NAS:FSLR, 30-year Financials) shows every sign of being fairly valued, according to GuruFocus Value calculation. GuruFocus Value is GuruFocus' estimate of the fair value at which the stock should be traded. It is calculated based on the historical multiples that the stock has traded at, the past business growth and analyst estimates of future business performance. If the price of a stock is significantly above the GF Value Line, it is overvalued and its future return is likely to be poor. On the other hand, if it is significantly below the GF Value Line, its future return will likely be higher. At its current price of $75.84 per share and the market cap of $8.1 billion, First Solar stock gives every indication of being fairly valued. GF Value for First Solar is shown in the chart below.
Because First Solar is fairly valued, the long-term return of its stock is likely to be close to the rate of its business growth, which is estimated to grow 0.47% annually over the next three to five years.
It is always important to check the financial strength of a company before buying its stock. Investing in companies with poor financial strength have a higher risk of permanent loss. Looking at the cash-to-debt ratio and interest coverage is a great way to understand the financial strength of a company. First Solar has a cash-to-debt ratio of 3.39, which is in the middle range of the companies in Semiconductors industry. The overall financial strength of First Solar is 8 out of 10, which indicates that the financial strength of First Solar is strong. This is the debt and cash of First Solar over the past years:
It poses less risk to invest in profitable companies, especially those that have demonstrated consistent profitability over the long term. A company with high profit margins is also typically a safer investment than one with low profit margins. First Solar has been profitable 5 over the past 10 years. Over the past twelve months, the company had a revenue of $3 billion and earnings of $4.84 a share. Its operating margin is 14.19%, which ranks better than 70% of the companies in Semiconductors industry. Overall, GuruFocus ranks the profitability of First Solar at 5 out of 10, which indicates fair profitability. This is the revenue and net income of First Solar over the past years:
One of the most important factors in the valuation of a company is growth. Long-term stock performance is closely correlated with growth according to GuruFocus research. Companies that grow faster create more value for shareholders, especially if that growth is profitable. The average annual revenue growth of First Solar is -3.4%, which ranks worse than 67% of the companies in Semiconductors industry. The 3-year average EBITDA growth is 16.2%, which ranks in the middle range of the companies in Semiconductors industry.
Another method of determining the profitability of a company is to compare its return on invested capital to the weighted average cost of capital. Return on invested capital (ROIC) measures how well a company generates cash flow relative to the capital it has invested in its business. The weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is the rate that a company is expected to pay on average to all its security holders to finance its assets. When the ROIC is higher than the WACC, it implies the company is creating value for shareholders. For the past 12 months, First Solar's return on invested capital is 8.04, and its cost of capital is 9.55. The historical ROIC vs WACC comparison of First Solar is shown below:
Overall, The stock of First Solar (NAS:FSLR, 30-year Financials) is believed to be fairly valued. The company's financial condition is strong and its profitability is fair. Its growth ranks in the middle range of the companies in Semiconductors industry. To learn more about First Solar stock, you can check out its 30-year Financials here.
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