October 28, 2010

First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2010 Financial Results

  • Net Sales $798 million
  • EPS $2.04 per fully diluted share
  • Increased 2010 EPS guidance to $7.50-$7.65 per diluted share

TEMPE, Ariz., Oct 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 25, 2010. Third quarter 2010 net sales were $797.9 million, an increase of $210.0 million from the second quarter of 2010, primarily due to increased system sales (driven principally by the sale of the 60 megawatt (AC) Sarnia Phase 2 project in Canada), partially offset by a decline in our module average selling prices and lower blended euro exchange rates. Quarterly net sales grew 66% from $480.9 million in the third quarter of 2009, due to increased systems revenue and module production volumes, partially offset by a decline in our module average selling prices and lower blended euro exchange rates.

Third quarter net income per fully diluted share was $2.04, up from $1.84 in the second quarter of 2010 and up from $1.79 in the third quarter of 2009. The third quarter net income includes a one-time tax expense of $14.7 million, or $0.17 per fully diluted share, relating to the Company's decision to repatriate $300 million of earnings from certain of its foreign subsidiaries. Quarter over quarter, the net income increase was primarily driven by higher net sales partially offset by the one-time tax expense. Year over year, the net income increase was primarily driven by higher module production, lower module cost per watt and increased system sales, partially offset by reduced module average selling prices and the above one-time tax expense.

"We continue to execute on our growth strategy and to develop sustainable markets for solar electricity," said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. "Our investment in research and development combined with plans to nearly double our manufacturing capacity will help us meet robust customer demand while continuing to drive down the cost of solar power."

For 2010, First Solar projects:

  • Net sales of $2.58 to $2.61 billion, increased from the previous guidance range of $2.5 to 2.6 billion.
  • Earnings per fully diluted share of $7.50 to $7.65, increased from the previous guidance range of $7.00 to $7.40.
  • Total capital spending of $550 to $600 million.
  • Operating cash flow of $595 to $620 million.

First Solar has posted its Third Quarter Earnings Call Presentation, which includes 2010 guidance and additional details regarding the key assumptions relating to this guidance, in the Investors section of its website at www.firstsolar.com.



First Solar will discuss these results and the outlook for 2010 in a conference call scheduled for today at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Investors may access a live audio webcast of this conference call and the earnings call presentation in the Investors section of the Company's website at www.firstsolar.com.

An audio replay of the conference call will also be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available until Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. EDT and can be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112 if you are calling from within the United States or 719-457-0820 if you are calling from outside the United States and entering the replay pass code 8458462. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Investors section of the Company's website approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for approximately 90 calendar days. If you are a subscriber of FactSet or Thomson One, you can obtain a written transcript approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. The company is delivering an economically viable alternative to fossil-fuel generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating cost-effective, renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit http://www.firstsolar.com

For First Solar Investors:

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company's business involving the company's products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.


SOURCE: First Solar, Inc.

First Solar, Inc.
Investors:
Jens Meyerhoff
CFO and President, Utility Systems Business Group
602-414-9315
investor@firstsolar.com
Larry Polizzotto
Vice President, Investor Relations
602-414-9315
lpolizzotto@firstsolar.com
Pam Hegarty
Director, Investor Relations
602-414-9315
phegarty@firstsolar.com
or
Media:
First Solar - (North America)
Ted Meyer or Alan Bernheimer
602-414-9361
media@firstsolar.com
First Solar - (Europe)
Brandon Mitchener
+49 (0) 6131 1443-399
media-emea@firstsolar.com

 


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