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First Solar (FSLR) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, Sales Up Y/Y

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First Solar Inc. FSLR reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.96 per share, which handily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.00. The reported figure also soared 130.6% from the prior-year quarter’s earnings of 85 cents. This upside is primarily attributable to strong sales, coupled with impressive manufacturing execution.

Sales

First Solar’s sales of $803.4 million in the reported quarter exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $695 million. Moreover, the top line surged 51% from the year-ago quarter’s $532.1 million.

Operational Highlights

In the first quarter, gross profit totaled $184.8 million, which surged significantly from the $90.3 million reported in the year-ago quarter.

Total operating expenses declined 6.1% to $83.3 million due to lower selling, general and administrative expenses as well as reduced research and development expenses.

However, the company reported an operating income of $252.3 million compared with the operating income of $1.65 million reported in the year-ago quarter. This upside is mainly attributable to the significantly higher gross profit during the quarter.

First Solar, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

First Solar, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
First Solar, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

First Solar, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | First Solar, Inc. Quote

Financial Performance

First Solar had $972.9 million of cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2021, down from $1,227 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

Long-term debt totaled $254.4 million at the end of the first quarter compared with $237.7 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

2021 Guidance

The company expects to maintain earnings of $4.05-$4.75 per share on updated sales of $2.85-3.025 billion in 2021.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings, pegged at $4.39 per share, lies near to the mid-point of the company’s projected range. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the ongoing-year sales, pegged at $2.92 billion, lies below the mid-point of the guided range.

Moreover, the company expects to incur operating expenses of $285-$300 million.

Meanwhile, First Solar forecasts shipments of 7.8-8.0 gigawatts.

Zacks Rank

First Solar currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A Recent Solar Release

Enphase Energy, Inc. ENPH reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 41 cents.

Upcoming Solar Releases

Sunrun RUN is set to release first-quarter 2021 results on May 5.

SunPower Corporation SPWR is scheduled to report quarterly numbers on May 5.

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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

SunPower Corporation (SPWR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Enphase Energy, Inc. (ENPH) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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