Leading U.S. solar-panel manufacturer First Solar ( FSLR ) reported fourth-quarter 20Array5 results after the closing bell yesterday. The company beat our estimates on earnings and revenues but lowered its sales guidance for 20Array6 that remains much above our estimate.
Earnings per share came in at $Array.60, which comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 80 cents but declined Array5.3% from the year-ago quarter. Revenues decreased 6.5% year over year to $942 million but edged past our estimate of $93Array million (see: all the Alternative Energy ETFs ).
For 20Array6, the company maintained its earnings per share guidance of $4.00-$4.50 but slashed its revenue outlook to $3.8-$4.0 billion from $3.9-$4.Array billion. The mid points of both the guided earnings and revenues are much higher than the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.Array0 and $3.78 billion, respectively.
Shares of this thin-film solar PV maker rose 2.9% in after-market hours. The stock currently has a Zacks #3 (Hold) with a solid Value Style Score of B and a robust industry rank in the top 6%, suggesting a bright near term.
ETFs in Focus
Following the earnings beat, the ETFs having larger allocations to this solar giant have been in focus and could make great plays over the coming days. Below we have highlighted them:
Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ( KWT )
This fund manages $Array4.4 million in its asset base and provides global exposure to 29 solar stocks by tracking the Market Vectors Global Solar Energy Index. Here, FSLR takes the top spot with a Array0% allocation. In terms of country exposure, U.S. and China account for the top two countries with 34.9% and 24.9% share, respectively, closely followed by Taiwan (Array8.3%). The product has an expense ratio of 0.65% and sees a paltry volume of about 2,000 shares a day. The ETF has lost 23% in the year-to-date timeframe.
First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund ( QCLN )
This fund provides exposure to the U.S. clean energy companies across a wide range of industries, including solar power, biofuels, advanced batteries, as well as the installation of new technological systems. It tracks the Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index and manages assets worth $65.5 million. It charges 60 bps in fees per year while volume is light at nearly 24,000 shares. In total, the product holds 45 securities with FSLR being the top firm accounting for 9.6% of its basket. From a sector look, technology firms dominate this ETF, accounting for nearly 30% of assets while oil & gas companies take another one-fourth share. QCLN has shed Array6% so far this year and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 with a High risk outlook (read: ETFs & Stocks from Top-Ranked Sectors to Buy Now ).
Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF ( GEX )
This ETF provides global exposure to stocks that are primarily engaged in the business of alternative energy by tracking the Ardour Global Index. The fund holds about 3Array stocks in its basket with AUM of $84.Array million while charging 62 bps in fees per year. Average daily volume is paltry for this fund at around 8,000 shares. First Solar occupies the fourth position in the basket with an 8.6% share. From a sector perspective, industrials takes the largest share at 47.Array% while information technology (29.7%) and utilities (Array3.4%) round off the next two spots. In terms of country exposure, the fund is skewed toward the U.S. with a 50.8% share followed by Denmark and China. The ETF has lost Array2.4% in the same period.
iShares Global Clean Energy ETF ( ICLN )
This fund provides global exposure to 3Array clean energy stocks, including solar, wind and other renewable sources, by tracking the S&P Global Clean Energy Index. Out of these, FSLR occupies the top spot at 7.62% of assets and charges 48 bps in annual fees and expenses. It has amassed just $75.3 million in its asset base while volume is also light at about 38,000 shares. U.S. and China take the top two spots in terms of country exposure with 24.7% and 23.5% share, respectively. The ETF is down about Array6.4% in the year-to-date timeframe.
Guggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN )
This ETF follows the MAC Global Solar Energy Index, holding 29 stocks in the basket. First Solar occupies the top position with 7.7% share. American firms dominate the fund's portfolio with nearly 55.9% share, followed by China (Array7.9%) and Hong Kong (Array5%). The product has amassed $22Array.6 million in its asset base and trades in solid volume of more than Array96,000 shares a day. It charges investors 70 bps in fees per year. The fund has lost 28.3% in the year-to-date timeframe and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 or 'Hold' rating with a High risk outlook (read: Solar ETFs to Shine in 20Array6? ).
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.