First Solar Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of solar cost-leader First Solar (NAS: FSLR) jumped as much as 22% just a day after shares were crushed on word the CEO was leaving.

So what: First Solar eased some fears today by releasing earnings early and showing a solid profit. Third-quarter revenue was $1 billion and profit rose to $2.25 per share. For the full year, management is expecting revenue between $3 billion and $3.3 billion, and earnings per share between $6.50 and $7.50.

Now what: The profitability First Solar is showing despite the challenges in the sector would make almost any manufacturer jealous. But that doesn't mean challenges aren't ahead. First Solar is competing with Chinese manufacturers that not only have seen costs fall but are in a position in which they need to get rid of modules, no matter the price.

I still own shares of First Solar and I'm not selling today, but I'm not buying either. If there's a strategic change or First Solar introduces a new technology, I may change my tune, but right now I will wait this one out.

Interested in more info on First Solar? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium owns shares of First Solar. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.The Motley Fool owns shares of First Solar. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of First Solar. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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