First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) enjoyed a satisfying 5% pop in its stock price following the release of its fourth-quarter and full 2016 results.
For the quarter, revenue dove by almost 50% on a year-over-year basis to $480 million. On the bottom line, the company swung to a loss, largely due to restructuring charges -- it posted a deficit of nearly $720 million, against a profit of $164 million in the same quarter the previous year.
On an adjusted basis, though, net income was $129 million ($1.24 per share). That handily beat analysts' average estimate of $0.97. The top line result also well exceeded analysts' projections; on average, these anticipated a figure just under $413 million.
For the full year, First Solar booked net sales of $2.95 billion, down from $3.58 billion in 2015. The company's net loss was nearly $358 million, quite a flip from the $546 million profit it made the previous year. On an adjusted basis, however, the bottom line landed in the black, at almost $535 million ($5.17 per share).
Looking forward, First Solar raised its guidance for sales in the current fiscal year. It now believes its top line for 2017 will come in between $2.8 billion and $2.9 billion. Although that range is below its 2016 result, it's a notable improvement over the company's previously forecast range of $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion. Meanwhile, its forecast earnings per share range was unchanged at $0 to $0.50.
Despite the sales and earnings beats, and resulting stock price pop, the market clearly remains cautious about First Solar. The shares are still down by almost 42% over the past year.
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Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned.