First Solar seeks 5.5 gigawatts of sales to fill pipeline
May 7, 2013 at 6:59 am by Bloomberg
First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the largest U.S. solar manufacturer by shipments, said it’s pursuing as much #$%$5 gigawatts of prospective sales, mainly in the Americas, after its pipeline of orders was unchanged in the first quarter.
The company reported $8 billion in expected revenue at the end of the first quarter, unchanged from the end of December, Chief Executive Officer Jim Hughes said during a conference call yesterday.
The company expects results in the second half of the year to be better than in the first half, reversing an earlier forecast, as it acquires new solar farms that will use its panels. Of the 5.5 gigawatts of potential orders, about 700 megawatts comes from mid- to late-stage projects that are nearing construction, Hughes said.
“We are focusing on replenishing our pipeline in 2014 and beyond,” Hughes said.
That includes projects in Chile, Canada and a “steady diet” of stranded solar projects that developers can’t complete in California and elsewhere in the U.S. Southwest, he said. The company forecasts its results using expected revenue from panels it will install at solar farms it’s developing and contracted sales to other developers.
Net income in the quarter was $59.1 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $449 million, or $5.20 a share, the Tempe, Arizona-based company said in a statement after the close of regular trading yesterday. Sales climbed 52 percent to $755.2 million. Excluding some one-time expenses related to restructuring, earnings of 69 cents a share were six cents less than the average of 17 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The shortfall in the quarter isn’t as important as the company’s long-term prospects, said Sanjay Shrestha, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets LLC in New York.
“We weren’t so focused on the quarter, as numbers will..