The company’s 2013 earnings per share (EPS) guidance calls for $4.00 to $4.50, also well above the consensus estimate of $3.46.
First Solar also set a target for sales of $3.5 to $4 billion in its 2014 fiscal year and $4.2 to $4.8 billion in fiscal year 2015. The EPS target for 2014 is $2.50 to $4.00 and the 2015 target is $4.00 to $6.00.
Shares of First Solar are up about 27% at $34.33 in a 52-week range of $11.43 to $36.98, and the news is lighting a fire under other U.S. solar makers.
We are seeing serious catch-up moves among peers. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR) is up almost 10% at $10.68 on the day. MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) is up 6% at $4.55 so far on Tuesday.Guggenheim Solar (NYSMKT: TAN) is up 7% at $16.90. Even SolarCity Corporation (NASDAQ: SCTY), which is on the install side rather than the panels side, is up 3.6% at $19.59. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) is lagging with gains of only 1.2% at $3.38 on the day.