First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) stock price jumped more than 3.5x from around $42 at 2018 end to $153 currently, primarily due to favorable changes in its P/S multiple. Additionally, the company witnessed just a 12% rise in revenue over this period, and revenue per share increased, despite a marginal rise in the outstanding share count. Due to this, the company’s stock price has risen strongly, and has managed to outperform the S&P 500, which returned around 60% over the same period.
In our interactive dashboard, Why First Solar Stock Moved: FSLR Stock Has Gained 262% Since 2018, we break down the factors behind this move.
(A) FSLR’s Total Revenue has grown 12% from $2.2 billion in FY 2018 to $2.5 billion currently
- FSLR’s total revenue growth has been mixed over the years, with sales first rising to $3.1 billion in FY ’19 and hovering around that level till FY ’21, where sales stood at $2.9 billion. However, LTM sales currently stand lower at $2.5 billion.
- The company is a leading manufacturer of solar panels, and provider of utility-scale PV (photo-voltaic) power plants.
- As of its most recent full-year 2021 earnings, sales from modules make up around 80% of the company’s sales, standing at $2.33 billion, up from $1.46 billion in FY ’19, a jump of almost 60% in just two years.
- For details about FSLR revenues and comparison to peers, see First Solar (FSLR) Revenue Comparison
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(B) Revenue per share (RPS) increased 11% from $21.37 in FY 2018 to $23.62 currently
- FSLR’s revenue rose from $2.2 billion in FY 2018 to $2.5 billion currently, and the outstanding share count rose from 105 million in FY 2018 to around 107 million currently.
- Due to this, RPS has grown 11% from $21.37 in FY ’18 to $23.62 currently.
(C) Price-To-Sales (P/S) multiple for FSLR has risen strongly from 2x at 2018 end to 6.5x currently, a jump of more than 3x over its 2018 level
- FSLR’s P/S multiple dropped marginally to around 1.9x by late 2019, on the back of falling investor expectations surrounding the sustainability of demand for its products.
- However, with the tide turning due to the surging adoption of solar energy products, expectations are back up and the P/S multiple currently stands much higher at 6.5x.
- For additional details about the company stock returns and comparison to peers, see First Solar (FSLR) Stock Return Comparison.
|S&P 500 Return||4%||-16%||79%|
|Trefis Multi-Strategy Portfolio||8%||-16%||232%|
 Month-to-date and year-to-date as of 11/15/2022
 Cumulative total returns since the end of 2016