U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,638.35
    +8.70 (+0.24%)
     
  • Dow 30

    29,910.37
    +37.90 (+0.13%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    12,205.85
    +111.44 (+0.92%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,855.27
    +10.25 (+0.56%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    45.53
    -0.18 (-0.39%)
     
  • Gold

    1,788.10
    -23.10 (-1.28%)
     
  • Silver

    22.64
    -0.81 (-3.44%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1970
    +0.0057 (+0.48%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.8420
    -0.0360 (-4.10%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3314
    -0.0042 (-0.32%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    104.0850
    -0.1650 (-0.16%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    17,803.56
    +618.22 (+3.60%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    333.27
    -4.23 (-1.25%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,367.58
    +4.65 (+0.07%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    26,644.71
    +107.40 (+0.40%)
     

First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results

First Solar, Inc.
·11 min read
  • Net sales of $928 million

  • Net income per share of $1.45

  • Cash, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $1.7 billion, net cash of $1.4 billion

  • 1.6 GWDC of bookings since prior earnings call

  • Strong fleet-wide production with capacity utilization averaging over 100% at all factories

  • Reinstate financial guidance for the fourth quarter 2020

TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

“We delivered strong financial results for the third quarter,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “The dedication we continue to witness from our associates enabled us to expand module segment gross margin, close the sales of our Ishikawa, Miyagi, and Anamizu projects in Japan, and increase earnings per share quarter-over-quarter. This result reflects the strengths of our competitively advantaged CdTe modules and vertically integrated manufacturing process.”

Net sales for the third quarter were $928 million, an increase of $285 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to international project sales, and an increase in the volume of modules sold to third parties.

Net income per share for the third quarter was $1.45, compared to net income per share of $0.35 in the second quarter of 2020.

Cash, restricted cash, and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter totaled $1,671 million, an increase of $29 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to cash inflows from international project sales and module segment operating cash flows. This was partially offset by capital expenditures and loan repayments associated with international project sales.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Guidance

The Company previously withdrew its full-year 2020 guidance on May 7, 2020 given the significant uncertainties regarding the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Company’s operations and financial results, as well as on energy and capital markets. As of the date of this release, the Company and its financial results have not been materially impacted by COVID-19. The Company today is reinstating financial guidance for the fourth quarter 2020 and providing implied full-year 2020 guidance based on its financial results through the third quarter 2020 and reinstated guidance for the fourth quarter 2020. The fourth quarter 2020 and implied full-year 2020 guidance are as follows:

Fourth Quarter 2020

Implied Full Year 2020

Net Sales

$540M to $790M

$2.6B to $2.9B

Gross Margin % (1)

26.5% to 27.0%

25%

Operating Expenses (2)

$90M to $95M

$351M to $356M

Operating Income (3)

$50M to $120M

$310M to $380M

Earnings per Share

$1.00 to $1.50

$3.65 to $4.15

Net Cash Balance (4)

$1.2B to $1.3B

-

Capital Expenditures

$123M to $223M

$450M to $550M

Shipments

1.8GW to 2.0GW

5.5GW to 5.7GW

(1) Includes $5 million of ramp costs for FY’20;
(2) Includes $15 million of plant start-up expense for Q4’20 and $39 million for FY’20;
(3) Includes $44 million of ramp costs and plant start-up expense for FY’20 and $27 million of Series 4 shutdown and other severance costs for FY’20;
(4) Defined as cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and restricted cash less expected debt at the end of 2020.

Conference Call Details

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, October 27, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. ET, to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of this conference call and accompanying materials are available at investor.firstsolar.com.

Investors are encouraged to listen to the conference call and to review the accompanying materials, which contain more information about First Solar’s third quarter financial results and financial outlook.

An audio replay of the conference call will be available through Tuesday, November 10, 2020 and can be accessed by dialing +1 (800) 585-8367 if you are calling from within the United States or +1 (416) 621-4642 if you are calling from outside the United States and entering the replay passcode 3369808. A replay of the webcast will also be available on the Investors section of the Company’s website approximately five hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for 90 days.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (“PV”) solar energy solutions, which use its advanced module and system 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.

For First Solar Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning: our financial guidance for the fourth quarter 2020 and implied full-year 2020 guidance, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, earnings per share, loss per share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, shipments, bookings, production, products and our business and financial objectives for 2020. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “goal,” “target,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “predict,” “continue,” and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its potential impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition; structural imbalances in global supply and demand for PV solar modules; the market for renewable energy, including solar energy; our competitive position and other key competitive factors; reduction, elimination, or expiration of government subsidies, policies, and support programs for solar energy projects; the impact of public policies, such as tariffs or other trade remedies imposed on solar cells and modules; our ability to execute on our long-term strategic plans; our ability to execute on our solar module technology and cost reduction roadmaps; our ability to improve the wattage of our solar modules; interest rate fluctuations and both our and our customers’ ability to secure financing; the creditworthiness of our off-take counterparties and the ability of our off-take counterparties to fulfill their contractual obligations to us; the ability of our customers and counterparties to perform under their contracts with us; the satisfaction of conditions precedent in our sales agreements; our ability to attract new customers and to develop and maintain existing customer and supplier relationships; our ability to successfully develop and complete our systems business projects; our ability to convert existing production facilities to support new product lines, such as Series 6 module manufacturing; general economic and business conditions, including those influenced by U.S., international, and geopolitical events; environmental responsibility, including with respect to cadmium telluride (“CdTe”) and other semiconductor materials; claims under our limited warranty obligations; changes in, or the failure to comply with, government regulations and environmental, health, and safety requirements; effects resulting from pending litigation; future collection and recycling costs for solar modules covered by our module collection and recycling program; our ability to protect our intellectual property; our ability to prevent and/or minimize the impact of cyber-attacks or other breaches of our information systems; our continued investment in research and development; the supply and price of components and raw materials, including CdTe; our ability to attract and retain key executive officers and associates; and the matters discussed under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described in these reports.

Contacts

First Solar Investors
investor@firstsolar.com

First Solar Media
media@firstsolar.com


FIRST SOLAR, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)

September 30,
2020

December 31,
2019

ASSETS

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,277,054

$

1,352,741

Marketable securities (amortized cost of $353,413 and allowance for credit losses of $48 at September 30, 2020)

353,819

811,506

Accounts receivable trade

221,196

476,425

Less: allowance for credit losses

(2,413

)

(1,386

)

Accounts receivable trade, net

218,783

475,039

Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage

89,368

183,473

Less: allowance for credit losses

(919

)

Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage, net

88,449

183,473

Inventories

567,785

443,513

Balance of systems parts

34,280

53,583

Project assets

1,222

3,524

Assets held for sale

35,009

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

224,092

276,455

Total current assets

2,800,493

3,599,834

Property, plant and equipment, net

2,386,591

2,181,149

PV solar power systems, net

257,400

476,977

Project assets

362,777

333,596

Deferred tax assets, net

210,340

130,771

Restricted marketable securities (amortized cost of $245,351 and allowance for credit losses of $0 at September 30, 2020)

261,507

223,785

Goodwill

14,462

14,462

Intangible assets, net

58,469

64,543

Inventories

197,520

160,646

Other assets

435,658

329,926

Total assets

$

6,985,217

$

7,515,689

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Current liabilities:

Accounts payable

$

153,925

$

218,081

Income taxes payable

32,172

17,010

Accrued expenses

298,133

351,260

Current portion of long-term debt

40,412

17,510

Deferred revenue

115,592

323,217

Accrued litigation

363,000

Liabilities held for sale

12,721

Other current liabilities

78,136

28,130

Total current liabilities

731,091

1,318,208

Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability

125,594

137,761

Long-term debt

220,456

454,187

Other liabilities

511,963

508,766

Total liabilities

1,589,104

2,418,922

Commitments and contingencies

Stockholders’ equity:

Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 105,974,984 and 105,448,921 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively

106

105

Additional paid-in capital

2,855,645

2,849,376

Accumulated earnings

2,600,059

2,326,620

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(59,697

)

(79,334

)

Total stockholders’ equity

5,396,113

5,096,767

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

6,985,217

$

7,515,689


FIR
ST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended

Nine Months Ended

September 30,
2020

June 30,
2020

September 30,
2019

September 30,
2020

September 30,
2019

Net sales

$

927,565

$

642,411

$

546,806

$

2,102,100

$

1,663,740

Cost of sales

634,550

504,951

408,443

1,581,287

1,448,083

Gross profit

293,015

137,460

138,363

520,813

215,657

Operating expenses:

Selling, general and administrative

49,861

51,770

53,542

160,218

149,828

Research and development

22,972

22,483

24,912

71,068

71,184

Production start-up

13,019

6,311

18,605

23,812

38,564

Litigation loss

6,000

6,000

Total operating expenses

85,852

86,564

97,059

261,098

259,576

Operating income (loss)

207,163

50,896

41,304

259,715

(43,919

)

Foreign currency (loss) income, net

(1,852

)

(1,299

)

1,209

(3,549

)

3,107

Interest income

2,109

3,674

11,454

15,113

39,223

Interest expense, net

(10,975

)

(3,254

)

(4,976

)

(21,018

)

(24,018

)

Other expense, net

(3,236

)

(3,195

)

(3,399

)

(8,653

)

(4,328

)

Income (loss) before taxes and equity in earnings

193,209

46,822

45,592

241,608

(29,935

)

Income tax (expense) benefit

(38,107

)

(10,214

)

(15,035

)

40,894

(25,385

)

Equity in earnings, net of tax

(65

)

303

65

150

(205

)

Net income (loss)

$

155,037

$

36,911

$

30,622

$

282,652

$

(55,525

)

Net income (loss) per share:

Basic

$

1.46

$

0.35

$

0.29

$

2.67

$

(0.53

)

Diluted

$

1.45

$

0.35

$

0.29

$

2.65

$

(0.53

)

Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:

Basic

105,967

105,927

105,397

105,830

105,272

Diluted

106,751

106,473

106,227

106,537

105,272