July 29, 2010

First Solar, Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2010 Financial Results

  • Net Sales $588 million
  • PV module cost $0.76/watt
  • EPS $1.84 per fully diluted share
  • Increased 2010 EPS guidance to $7.00-$7.40 per diluted share

TEMPE, Ariz., Jul 29, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 26, 2010. Quarterly net sales were $587.9 million, up 12% from $525.9 million in the second quarter of 2009, due to increased production volumes and systems revenue, partially offset by a decline in pricing and lower euro exchange rates. Second quarter 2010 net sales increased $19.9 million from the first quarter of 2010, primarily due to increased turnkey system sales.

Second quarter net income per fully diluted share was $1.84, down from $2.11 in the second quarter of 2009 and down from $2.00 in the first quarter of 2010. Year over year, the declines were primarily driven by lower module average selling prices, and higher operating expenses that were partially offset by increased module production and lower module cost per watt. Quarter over quarter, the declines were primarily driven by higher operating expenses.

PV module manufacturing cost was reduced to $0.76/watt, down $0.05 from the prior quarter and 13% year over year. Annual throughput per line was up 6% quarter over quarter to 59.0 MW. This increases announced or operating capacity from 2.1 to 2.2 GW by 2012.

For 2010, First Solar forecasts net sales of $2.5 to $2.6 billion, reflecting reallocation of module capacity from our systems business to meet stronger module demand by our European customers. Earnings per fully diluted share are increased to a projected range of $7.00 to $7.40 which includes a $0.20-$0.23 reduction for a foreign exchange assumption change from $1.30/euro to $1.20/euro and $0.09-$0.10 per share dilution for the completed acquisition of NextLight Renewable Power, LLC. Total capital spending is projected to be $575 to $625 million. The company expects to generate $575 to $625 million of operating cash flow. First Solar has posted its Second Quarter Earnings Call Presentation, which includes guidance for fiscal 2010 and additional details regarding the key assumptions relating to this guidance, in the Investor section of its website at http://www.firstsolar.com.

First Solar will discuss these results and outlook for fiscal 2010 in a conference call scheduled for today at 4:30 p.m. ET. 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 http://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, August 3, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. ET 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 7770641. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Investor section on 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 within two hours.

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.
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


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