First Solar Stock Gets Bump on Better Than Expected Q2 Results

first solar

 (Nasdaq: FSLR) , a global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) systems,  announced for the second quarter of 2016. Net sales were $934 million in the quarter, an increase of $86 million from the prior quarter. The increase was due to higher module only sales, the sale of the Kingbird project and revenue recognition across multiple systems projects, partially offset by lower revenue from the Silver State South and Stateline projects which reached or neared completion in the quarter.

First Solar reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.13, compared to $1.66 in the prior quarter. The second quarter was impacted by pre-tax restructuring charges of $86 million related primarily to the previously announced decision to end production of the TetraSun crystalline silicon product. Non-GAAP earnings per share, adjusted for TetraSun related charges, were $0.87. Net income was also lower versus the prior quarter due to the mix of systems projects sold and under construction and a gain on the sale of certain restricted investments in the first quarter. In addition, results for the second quarter excluded approximately $20 million of profit on the Kingbird sale, which was not recognized in earnings during the period.

Cash and marketable securities at the end of the second quarter decreased to $1.7 billion. Cash flows used in operations were $75 million in the second quarter.

“Our operational execution in 2016 continues to be strong and resulted in another quarter of solid financial results,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Our lead line module efficiency exited the quarter at over 16.6%, and we further lowered our module cost per watt. We sold our Kingbird project in Q2, and our steady execution across our portfolio of systems projects resulted in significant cost reductions. With our recent decision to reallocate capacity to focus on our Series 5 assembly capabilities we continue to position the Company for future success.”

The Company updated its 2016 earnings per share guidance and updated other forecasted items as follows:

2016 Guidance Prior GAAP Current GAAP Current Non-GAAP
Net Sales $3.8B to $4.0B Unchanged
Gross Margin % 18% to 19% 18.5% to 19%
Operating Expenses $380M to $400M $485M to $520M $380M to $400M
Operating Income $300M to $370M $205M to $250M $310M to $370M
Effective Tax Rate 16% to 18% 4% to 6% 16% to 18%
Earnings per Share1 $4.10 to $4.50 $3.65 to $3.90 $4.20 to $4.50
Net Cash Balance2 $1.9B to $2.2B Unchanged
Operating Cash Flow3 $500M to $700M

$500M to $650M

Capital Expenditures $300M to $400M $275M to $325M
Shipments 2.9GW to 3.0GW Unchanged
  1. Includes a gain of approximately $145 million, net of tax, from the expected sale of an equity method investment and our share of 8point3 earnings and a gain in other income of approximately $20 million, net of tax, from the sale of restricted investments in Q1 2016
  2. Defined as cash and marketable securities less expected debt at the end of 2016
  3. Excludes approximately $320 million from the expected sale of an equity method investment treated as an investing cash flow


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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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