First Solar Announces Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results

First Solar

First Solar, announced financial results for the third quarter of 2015 following preliminary results issued on October 29, 2015. The Company has completed its analysis of the previously announced discrete income tax matter related to a foreign jurisdiction and has filed its complete Quarterly Report to the SEC on Form 10-Q.

The Company is revising previously issued financial statements for the periods presented in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q to properly record a liability associated with an uncertain tax position related to income of a foreign subsidiary. The revisions to the financial statements resulted in a $36.0 million decrease to accumulated earnings as of December 31, 2014. Additionally, these revisions will be reflected at the time the financial statement for annual and interim periods, and summary financial information, are published in the future.

Highlights of First Solar’s Third Quarter Results:

  • Record Quarterly net sales of $1.3 billion
  • Record Quarterly GAAP earnings per fully diluted share of $3.41
  • Cash and marketable securities of $1.8 billion, net cash of $1.5 billion
  • Affirms 2015 EPS guidance of $4.30 to $4.50
  • Record 1.7GWdc of new bookings; Record annual bookings of 3.1GWdc year-to-date

First Solar’s third quarter 2015 net sales, gross margin and ending cash balances were all unchanged from the preliminary results issued previously. Earnings per fully diluted share increased to $3.41, as compared to the preliminary results.

The Company also affirmed the updated 2015 guidance provided in the preliminary earnings press release.

2015 Guidance Update Current
Net Sales $3.5B to $3.6B
Gross Margin %1 24% to 25%
Operating Expenses1 $395M to $405M
Operating Income1 $450M to $490M
Effective Tax Rate 4% to 6%
Earnings per Share1 $4.30 to $4.50
Net Cash Balance2 $1.3B to $1.4B
Capital Expenditures $175M to $200M
Working Capital3 $1.1B to $1.2B
Shipments 2.8GW to 2.9GW

1- Includes $80M benefit ($70M Gross Margin, $10M Opex) for a reduction in EOL obligation. EPS impact is $0.60
2- Cash & Marketable securities less debt at end of 2015
3- Expected increase in working capital from December 31, 2014

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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