Head-To-Head Survey: LightPath Technologies (LPTH) & First Solar (FSLR)

LightPath Technologies (NASDAQ:LPTH) and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, earnings and profitability.

Volatility & Risk

LightPath Technologies has a beta of -0.91, indicating that its stock price is 191% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Solar has a beta of 1.46, indicating that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

27.8% of LightPath Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 54.2% of First Solar shares are owned by institutional investors. 12.7% of LightPath Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of First Solar shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for LightPath Technologies and First Solar, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
LightPath Technologies 0 1 2 0 2.67
First Solar 3 5 9 0 2.35

LightPath Technologies presently has a consensus target price of $2.88, indicating a potential upside of 59.72%. First Solar has a consensus target price of $70.67, indicating a potential upside of 55.21%. Given LightPath Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe LightPath Technologies is more favorable than First Solar.

Profitability

This table compares LightPath Technologies and First Solar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
LightPath Technologies 3.31% 3.80% 2.69%
First Solar -8.35% 4.12% 3.09%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares LightPath Technologies and First Solar’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
LightPath Technologies $32.52 million 1.43 $1.06 million $0.38 4.74
First Solar $2.94 billion 1.62 -$165.61 million $2.59 17.58

LightPath Technologies has higher earnings, but lower revenue than First Solar. LightPath Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than First Solar, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

First Solar beats LightPath Technologies on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

LightPath Technologies Company Profile

LightPath Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes optical components and assemblies. The company offers precision molded glass aspheric optics, molded and diamond-turned infrared aspheric lenses, GRADIUM glass lenses, and other optical materials used to produce products that manipulate light. Its products are used in various industries, including defense products, medical devices, laser aided industrial tools, automotive safety applications, barcode scanners, optical data storage, hybrid fiber coax datacom, telecommunications, machine vision and sensors, and other industries. The company sells its products directly to customers in North America, Europe, and China, as well as through distributors and channel partners in the United States and internationally. LightPath Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

First Solar Company Profile

First Solar, Inc. provides photovoltaic solar energy solutions in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Components and Systems. The Components segment designs, manufactures, and sells cadmium telluride solar modules that convert sunlight into electricity. This segment offers its products to integrators and operators. The Systems segment provides turn-key photovoltaic solar power systems or solar solutions, such as project development; engineering, procurement, and construction; and operating and maintenance services to utilities, independent power producers, commercial and industrial companies, and other system owners. The company was formerly known as First Solar Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to First Solar, Inc. in 2006. First Solar, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona.

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