Head-To-Head Comparison: VIA optronics (NYSE:VIAO) and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)


First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLRGet Rating) and VIA optronics (NYSE:VIAOGet Rating) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

71.9% of First Solar shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 20.9% of VIA optronics shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of First Solar shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares First Solar and VIA optronics’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
First Solar $2.92 billion 2.66 $468.69 million $2.01 36.33
VIA optronics $174.30 million 0.55 -$4.13 million ($0.55) -7.71

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

Volatility & Risk

First Solar has a beta of 1.36, suggesting that its stock price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, VIA optronics has a beta of -0.67, suggesting that its stock price is 167% less volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares First Solar and VIA optronics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First Solar 8.68% 3.68% 2.95%
VIA optronics -5.73% -13.66% -6.74%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for First Solar and VIA optronics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First Solar 3 13 6 0 2.14
VIA optronics 0 0 1 0 3.00

First Solar currently has a consensus price target of $87.66, indicating a potential upside of 20.03%. VIA optronics has a consensus price target of $14.00, indicating a potential upside of 230.19%. Given VIA optronics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe VIA optronics is more favorable than First Solar.


First Solar beats VIA optronics on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About First Solar (Get Rating)

First Solar, Inc. provides photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions in the United State, Japan, France, Canada, India, Australia, and internationally. The company designs, manufactures, and sells cadmium telluride solar modules that converts sunlight into electricity. It serves developers and operators of systems, 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.

About VIA optronics (Get Rating)

VIA optronics AG, through its subsidiary, provides display solutions worldwide. It also develops, manufactures, and sells customized and application-specific metal mesh touch sensors and electrode base film materials for use in touch modules or other touch products. In addition, the company offers interactive display solutions, including curved display panels and solutions integrating multiple display touch assemblies; and optical bonding services, as well as licenses optical bonding process and sells related equipment. It serves automotive, consumer electronics, and industrial/specialized end markets. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany. VIA optronics AG is a subsidiary of Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc.

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