October 26, 2011

First Solar Announces Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results

  • Net sales of $1 billion
  • EPS of $2.25 per fully diluted share
  • Cash and Marketable Securities of $795 million
  • Revised 2011 EPS guidance of $6.50 - $7.50 per fully diluted share

TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter of 2011. Net sales were $1,006 million in the quarter, an increase of $473 million from the second quarter of 2011. Quarterly net sales increased from $798 million in the third quarter of 2010.

Third quarter net income per fully diluted share was $2.25, up from $0.70 in the second quarter of 2011 and $2.04 in the third quarter of 2010.

Third quarter Cash and Marketable Securities increased $279 million quarter over quarter to $795 million.

"First Solar's performance in the quarter reflects our superior technology, strong execution capability, and integrated business model - all of which have enabled us to weather a difficult market environment relatively well," said Mike Ahearn, Chairman of the Board and Interim Chief Executive Officer of First Solar. "Going forward, our goal is not just to survive the current environment, but to transcend it by creating and expanding markets worldwide that do not depend on today's subsidy programs. This requires that we re-focus our strategy and commit our resources to solving the pressing energy needs that exist in much of the world."

With respect to Rob Gillette's departure, Ahearn said, "We thank Rob for his service, but the Board of Directors believes First Solar needed a leadership change to navigate through the industry turmoil and achieve our long-term goals."

First Solar's updated 2011 guidance is as follows:

  • Net sales of $3.0 to $3.3 billion
  • Operating Income of $650 to $760 million
  • Effective tax rate of 13% to 14%
  • Earnings per fully diluted share of $6.50 to $7.50
  • Manufacturing start-up expenses of approximately $35 million and factory ramp costs of $10 to $12 million

In preparation for 2012, the company is reducing capital expenditures and evaluating opportunities to reallocate overhead expenses to fund increased investments in market development, sales, and R&D.

We have scheduled a conference call at 4:30 p.m. EDT on November 3, 2011 to discuss the third quarter results and revised 2011 outlook. Investors may access a live webcast of this conference call by visiting http://investor.firstsolar.com/events.cfm.

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 Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST 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 9081154. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Investors section of the company's web site approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for approximately 90 calendar days.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology, and is a premier provider of 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 value-driven renewable energy solutions that 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 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.

FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)
       
Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended

 

September 30,
2011

 

September 25,
2010

September 30,
2011

 

September 25,
2010

Net sales $ 1,005,788 $ 797,899 $ 2,105,855 $ 1,953,714
Cost of sales 626,624   476,007   1,272,228   1,065,592  
Gross profit 379,164 321,892 833,627 888,122
Operating expenses:
Research and development 38,164 21,472 102,617 67,196
Selling, general and administrative 112,743 84,961 286,615 230,422
Production start-up 5,514   3,821   27,739   7,252  
Total operating expenses 156,421   110,254   416,971   304,870  
Operating income 222,743 211,638 416,656 583,252
Foreign currency (loss) gain (1,857 ) (1,001 ) 752 (4,322 )
Interest income 3,225 2,658 9,665 11,341
Interest expense, net

(6

)
Other (expense) income, net (1,346 ) (380 ) 656   (1,553 )
Income before income taxes 222,765 212,915 427,729 588,712
Income tax expense 26,251   36,046   54,109   80,455  
Net income $ 196,514   $ 176,869   $ 373,620   $ 508,257  
Net income per share:
Basic $ 2.28   $ 2.08   $ 4.35   $ 5.99  
Diluted $ 2.25   $ 2.04   $ 4.29   $ 5.88  
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:
Basic 86,338   85,072   85,946   84,810  
Diluted 87,151   86,610   87,114   86,368  
 
FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)
       

 

September 30,
2011

December 31,
2010

ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 678,560 $ 765,689
Marketable securities and investments 84,350 167,889
Accounts receivable trade, net 481,978 305,537
Accounts receivable, unbilled 325,641 1,482
Inventories 432,887 195,863
Balance of systems parts 43,287 4,579
Deferred tax assets, net 31,716 388
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 352,049   143,033  
Total current assets 2,430,468 1,584,460
Property, plant and equipment, net 1,840,295 1,430,789
Project assets 282,788 320,140
Deferred tax assets, net 278,772 259,236
Marketable securities 31,859 180,271
Restricted cash and investments 203,763 86,003
Goodwill 458,808 433,288
Inventories 48,151 42,728
Other assets 148,408   43,488  
Total assets $ 5,723,312   $ 4,380,403  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 170,904 $ 82,312
Income taxes payable 33,411 16,831
Accrued expenses 271,991 244,271
Current portion of long-term debt 25,597 26,587
Other current liabilities 245,098   99,676  
Total current liabilities 747,001 469,677
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability 185,160 132,951
Long-term debt 582,744 210,804
Other liabilities 182,623   112,026  
Total liabilities 1,697,528   925,458  
Stockholders' equity:

Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 86,377,679 and
85,843,511 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2010,
respectively

86 86
Additional paid-in capital 1,965,840 1,815,420
Contingent consideration 1,118
Accumulated earnings 2,039,183 1,665,564
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) 20,675   (27,243 )
Total stockholders' equity 4,025,784   3,454,945  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 5,723,312   $ 4,380,403  

First Solar, Inc.
Investors:
Mark Widmar
Chief Financial Officer
+1 (602) 414-9315
investor@firstsolar.com
or
Larry Polizzotto
Vice President Investor Relations
+1 (602) 414-9315
lpolizzotto@firstsolar.com
or
Luke Fairborn
Director Investor Relations
+1 (602) 414-9315
lucas.fairborn@firstsolar.com
or
Media:
First Solar-USA
Ted Meyer
+1 (602) 427-3318
ted.meyer@firstsolar.com

Source: First Solar, Inc.

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