Solar Industry Financial Results – Fourth Quarter for First Solar Inc

first solar financial resultsTEMPE, Arizona.- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) recently announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2013. Net sales were $768 million in the quarter, a decrease of $497 million from the third quarter of 2013. The sequential decrease in net sales is primarily attributable to lower systems business project revenues as initial revenue recognition for Desert Sunlight and sale of the ABW projects were both achieved in the third quarter of 2013.

The Company reported fourth quarter GAAP net income per fully diluted share of $0.64, compared to $1.94 in the third quarter of 2013. The fourth quarter of 2013 was impacted by pre-tax restructuring and asset impairment charges of $24.9 million primarily related to an additional write-down, due to a change in marketing strategy, in the value of our idle Vietnam facility. Excluding the impact of the restructuring and asset impairment charges, Non-GAAP net income per fully diluted share was $0.89. The company reported a full year GAAP net income per fully diluted share of $3.70 for 2013, including the impact of pre-tax charges of $86.9 million related to previously announced restructuring activities, the sale of our Mesa, Arizona facility and the write-down of our Vietnam facility. Non-GAAP net income per fully diluted share for the full-year 2013 was $4.35.

Cash and Marketable Securities at the end of the fourth quarter were approximately $1.8 billion, an increase of approximately $232 million compared to the end of the third quarter of 2013. Cash flows from operations were $192 million in the fourth quarter and $856 million for the full-year 2013.

The Company also provided guidance for the first quarter of 2014 as follows:

  • Net Sales of $800 to $900 million
  • EPS of $ 0.50 to $ 0.60 per fully diluted share
  • Cash used in operating activities of ($300) to ($400) million

“The fourth quarter and full-year 2013 shows our Company’s continued progress in achieving the strategic objectives we outlined during our Analyst Day event in April,” said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. “For the year completed we delivered on several key objectives, including additional bookings of approximately 1.7GWdc, significant reductions to our module manufacturing cost, and a strong financial performance. As we move into 2014 the company remains focused on continuing to achieve our strategic objectives to ensure future success.”

First Solar achieved several milestones over the past year:

  • Set a new world record for CdTe cell efficiency at 20.4%.
  • Reduced the average module manufacturing costs on its best plant by 17% from $0.64 per watt in the fourth quarter of 2012 to $0.53 per watt in the fourth quarter of 2013 (excluding underutilization and upgrades).
  • Surpassed 8 GWDC of cumulative production, enough to provide clean electricity for approximately 4 million homes and displace 5.2 million metric tons of CO₂ annually.
  • Added approximately 1.7 GWDC of new projects to the Company’s project pipeline.
  • Acquired TetraSun to expand addressable market opportunity.
  • Completed its first utility-scale project in the Middle East and the largest operating solar PV plant in the region.

For a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to measures presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“GAAP”), see the tables below.

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, February 25, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss this announcement. Investors may access a live webcast of this conference call by visiting http://investor.firstsolar.com/events.cfm.

An audio replay of the conference call will also be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available until Monday, March 3, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. ET and can be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112 if you are calling from within the United States or 719-457-0820 if you are calling from outside the United States and entering the replay pass code 3205201. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Investors section of the Company’s web site approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for approximately 90 calendar days.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its module and systems technology. The Company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

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